Frost Bitten Profits

Cold weather spray foam applications can prove to be very challenging. What works in the spring, summer and fall is twice as challenging when weather conditions are cold. Unless you are aware of problems that could arise and how to avoid them, trouble may follow.

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Common Questions When Considering New Spray Foam Material

A common question we get at SprayWorks is “which spray foam material manufacturer is the best?” The answer to this is less about the manufacturer and more about applying the correct ratio of materials, ensuring good heat, and proper pressure. The real question that needs to be asked is, “what’s required to process the foam correctly?” When purchasing a new spray foam insulation there are several things you should consider, but it starts with knowing the manufacturer’s recommendations. After all, new material can impact your spray pattern, selection of gun tip and rate of application. Understanding these things upfront can save you a lot of time and trouble.

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How Much Spray Foam Per Minute are you Spraying?

Pounds per minute of spray foam can be determined by 4 factors.

  1. What spray foam machine you are using vs the output it is designed to perform?
  2. What pressure is the spray foam being sprayed?
  3. What spray tip or mixing chamber is being used to spray the spray foam?
  4. How much spray foam can the spray foam mechanic consistently control given the spray foam application?
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How to Handle Spray Foam Insulation Barrel Sets

Two component spray foam systems, for sprayed in place or spray on polyurethane foam insulation blends, are primarily packaged in steel 55 gallon barrels and distributed by their weight in volume as a paired set. A Paired Set is two barrels consisting of one “A” side (Activator/Isocyanate) and one “R” side (Resin/Polyol) ranging in a combined liquid weight from 970 lbs. to 1050 lbs. It should be noted that in many instances the components are referred to as “A” and “B”, respectively. In general the spray foam systems are produced having at minimum six months shelf-life within the original unopened barrel. Stored between 60 and 75 degree F (15 – 24C), do not require additives, B sides may require mixing and/or continual agitation.

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Material Spraying Issues

It’s less common when material will not spray on the ‘A’ side and ‘B’ side at the same time, but when it happens, there could be a number of factors at play. If you find yourself in this position, take a look at these common reasons;

  1. Proper operation of the pumping system. (execute initial startup checks)
  2. The product cold, it doesn’t flow properly.
  3. Failing delivery supply like transfer pump wear or neglect.
  4. Your regulator could be malfunctioning; Are you getting enough air supply to your Transfer Pump?
  5. Failing packings from wear or neglect.
  6. Clogged screens can also cause major issues in proper flow.
  7. Recent crossover in hose or contamination within the gun itself.

How to Minimize SPF Material Waste

Spray polyurethane foam material is one of the ongoing expenses you’ll have as an equipment and business owner. That means it’s one of the biggest areas in your business that you can cut costs by reducing waste when storing or spraying SPF material. Use the following four tips to effectively minimize SPF material waste in your spray foam insulation business.
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Weight vs Volume When Mixing

Spray foam material is packaged, sold and shipped on the basis of weight. Therefore, in order to figure the volume of a product packaged in the drum, converting the weight of the product within the drum into gallons is required. To do so, the specific gravity or weight per gallon of material is required information. There is likely to be a difference between manufactures, so confirm with the product supplier to provide this info or if a scale is available, weigh the container first. Specific Gravity and per gallon weight of the liquid for some manufactures are provided on the SDS or product data sheet (formerly MSDS).
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4 Ways to Save Material

Material is a costly investment in any project and can easily change your profit margin if you’re not careful. Time has been a learning experience and our experts prepared the top four ways to save material and prevent waste on the job site and in storage.

1. Balance the chemical ratio: When applying spray foam, it’s important to keep your chemical ratio accurate based on the material supplier’s specifications. Is your foam not sticking to the substrate? Is it fishy smelling? These are all signs your ratio is off, requiring a second application and wasting additional material. The fishy smell is a result of the foam being resin rich, requiring a decrease in the “A” side.

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