How to use an expanding foam?

How to use an expanding foam?

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What is expanding foam?

The expanding foam or his real name "single-component polyurethane foam", is a product which allows to isolate and soundproof materials. Its ability to inflate makes it a particularly useful product for theinsulation ; in fact, once placed on a material, a chemical reaction (called "polymerization") will transform the polyurethane foam into a semi-rigid foam. Hence its nickname of expanding foam: once it has inflated, it can occupy up to 10 times its initial volume!

In trade, expanding foam is sold in DIY stores in the form of spray bomb. There are also two types of bombs:

  • One with an upward facing valve;
  • The other with a multidirectional valve, which can be practical for some sites.
  • Get the one that is most suitable for your work!

When should you use expanding foam?

Expansive foam is a DIY product that you can use mainly in 2 cases: either for insulate from the cold, either for caulk or fill a hole or a space.

In a house, single-component polyurethane foam can thus be used to:

  • Protect pipes exposed to cold;
  • Prevent heat loss in a corrugated iron roof or in a wall;
  • Fill a hole in a wall;
  • Recap a pipe…

What materials should I use on one-component polyurethane foam?

Expansive foam is therefore a product that fills and insulates, which can be used both inside and outside the house. But beware: if the expanding foam adheres without problem to coatings such as concrete, metal, stone, brick or wood, it does not work on supports such as glass, Teflon or even polypropylene.

To note: in addition to paying attention to the coating on which you use it, know that the foam expansive must also be used at a certain temperature (often, between 10 ° C and 30 ° C).

Safety rules before using expanding foam

First of all, know that certain security rules before we start use expansive foam :

  1. Already, never use an expansive foam can without wearing protective glasses: in case of contact with the eyes, the damage could be severe.
  2. Then check the instructions for use for the optimal temperature for using your one-component polyurethane foam. Remember that the higher the temperature, the more the foam will have a significant capacity to swell.
  3. Always moisten the support on which you are going to use the expanding foam. This allows better polymerization of the foam, and it will also stiffen faster.
  4. Shake the product vigorously about fifteen times before applying it to the surface: this will heat the foam which will spill more easily, and will also be more homogeneous.

How to properly use the expanding foam?

Here's how to use one-component polyurethane foam properly:

  • After shaking the bomb, position it upside down, the end of the valve directly at the hole to be plugged.
  • Gently press the button that controls the valve to fill only half the cavity. This is very important: once it becomes rigid, the foam will (at least) triple in volume. Too much could create too much expansion, which could distort or even break your material, especially if it is plastic or wood. Better to proceed in small steps, and add more foam afterwards.
  • Wait for the foam to swell, then dry. Please note: if at the end of the surface the expansive foam dries in about a quarter of an hour, at heart it will be necessary to wait at least half a day.
  • Once the foam has dried, remove the excess with a cutter.
  • After using the foam bomb, do not forget to clean the valve with an acetone type solvent to prevent it from clogging!