How are Wine Cellar Experts (WCE) polyurethane foams applied?
Our systems are spray-applied, two-component products that include an isocyanate (A-Side Component) and a resin (B-Side Component). These are not pre-formed, friction-fit batts or board-stock insulations. It is not a wet application – no water is used. During application, there is a chain reaction between the two components that creates a bond to the substrate as it foams up. It dries, cures and hardens within 3-5 seconds. This product should always be installed by a trained applicator.
What is the insulation R-value of these systems?
Our polyurethane foam systems are closed-cell, with a superior effective R-value of over 6.0 per inch.
What are the differences between closed-cell and open-cell foams?
There are three major differences. First, WCE uses the versatility of chemistry to offer a closed-cell content of greater than 90 percent for all of its formulations, and open-cell foams commonly used as insulation systems have approximately 60 percent open-cell content. Second, closed cell content offers an R-value of over 6.0 per inch and open cell offers between 3.0 and 3.9 per inch. Third, and most importantly for our wine cellar construction, closed cell foam is virtually impermeable to air, while open cell foam allows far more air and vapor into the building interior.
What is an insulating air barrier system?
A closed-cell, spray-applied polyurethane foam wall system that combines superior insulation values and near-zero air permeability in a single application to improve building durability, energy efficiency and occupant comfort, health and safety.
Does polyurethane technology control air leakage?
Our polyurethane foam wall systems have been tested and are certified to be an air barrier at an application of 1-inch thickness. Once applied, our wall systems are fully-adhered and do not allow air to flow around, behind or through the insulation system. Most open-cell foams have not been tested and therefore do not qualify as air barrier systems.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has shown that 15 percent of traditional insulation materials’ effectiveness is lost due to convection loops through and behind board and batt systems. Spray-applied polyurethane technology eliminates this by forming a fully adhered, seamless insulation and air barrier system.
Can an insulation system add structural strength?
Spray-applied closed-cell polyurethane foam is the only insulation material that adds structural integrity throughout the wall system. Testing conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Research Center and the Canadian Construction Materials Centre shows spray-applied polyurethane foam insulation between wood- and steel-stud wall panels increased rack and shear strength two to three times compared with standard stick-built components with glass fiber insulation when sprayed onto gypsum wallboard and vinyl siding, and increased racking strength when sprayed onto oriented strandboard (OSB).
What about mold?
Mold requires three things to grow: moisture, warm temperatures and a food source. Polyurethane foam insulation has no nutritional value and is not considered a food source for mold. The use of polyurethane as insulation eliminates condensing surfaces and reduces the potential to accumulate moisture. It also eliminates air movement within the wall cavity. Other insulations are less successful at controlling air infiltration and providing adequate insulation to eliminate condensing surfaces, thus increasing the possibility of an environment susceptible to mold.
Is polyurethane good for the planet?
Our polyurethane technologies are formaldehyde-free formulas that emit no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and use ZONE3® zero ozone depleting blowing agent technology.
Can polyurethane wall systems be used in a chemically sensitive environment?
Yes. Our wall systems do not emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Off-gassing from this product has been measured at 0.000 parts per million. The product is inert.
Are there any fire protection requirements?
Polyurethane insulation meets Class 1 flame and smoke characteristics. Once installed, it must be covered by a 15-minute thermal barrier or ignition barrier, depending on the application. Check with local Building Codes for final determination.
What equipment is required?
Spray-applied polyurethane foam systems require specific application equipment, including pumps, proportioners and spray guns.
Are there any special handling considerations?
WCE professionally trained installers always use personal protective equipment (PPE), to avoid all contact with skin and eyes and prevent inhaling the vapors of the isocyanate.
While spraying, WCE always works with adequate ventilation. Protective gloves, face mask and additional PPE items that are required.