What are the Differences Between Closed and Open Cell Spray Foam?
manufacturingtechnologyinsights

What are the Differences Between Closed and Open Cell Spray Foam?

By Manufacturing Technology Insights | Friday, February 21, 2020

Some key differences between open-cell spray foam and closed cell spray foam are composition, R-value, and moisture permeability.


FREMONT, CA: After weighing the advantages of spray foam over fiberglass, it is evident that spray foam is an influential method of insulation for the home. Spray foam can help regulate the house temperature, keeping the indoors cool in summers and warm in the winters. However, when going to buy spray foams, there is an obstacle that people face—buying open-cell or closed-cell?

Closed Cell Spray Foam and Open Cell Spray Foam

Some key differences between open-cell spray foam and closed cell spray foam are composition, R-value, and moisture permeability. Closed-cell foam is more firm and dense. It does not expand as much as open-cell foam does upon, but it does have advantages over open-cell spray insulation foam. Density foams such as closed cell provide a thicker and less permeable barrier, so they essentially help to give structure and craft a more firm building envelope than flexible foams like an open cell. Closed-cell spray foam is usually found in large commercial building applications.

Closed-cell spray foam insulation has a superior R-value than open foam insulation. R-value is a measurement of thermal resistance and measures the capability of heat to transfer from one side of an item to another. Interestingly, three inches of open spray foam will proffer the same R-value as two inches of closed spray foam.

Open-cell foam is more absorbent than closed, so it is more vulnerable to moisture permeation. When an open cell is sprayed, it expands up to 100 times more than closed foam and supplies excellent thermal insulation. Flexible foams like open-cell combined with the augmented expansion rate make open-cell polyurethane foam an ideal choice for areas akin to crawl spaces. The insulation will inflate its way into several nooks and crannies that closed-cell foam will probably not get to. As open-cell foam is vulnerable to dampness, mold and mildew expansion can become an issue.

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