Spray foam insulation is a plural component product composed of two separate parts that are combined as they are sprayed. One barrel is the isocyanate (the “A” side) and the other barrel is the resin (the “B” side).
Isocyanate is the hardener (same ingredient in paint to cause it to harden) and resin is the actual foam. If the resin side is not properly agitated in the barrel before removal, the components, which are all different weights, are not properly combined and the resulting foam may appear normal, but will lack some important components.
One of those components is the fire retardant which, if not properly agitated, will all be sprayed out in the first portion removed from the barrel, leaving the remaining foam without any fire retardant. Spray foam insulation also produces the best results when the temperature of each barrel is slowly warmed to about 77 degrees F before beginning application. AES takes special care to warm our spray foam before beginning your project, usually warming it overnight or sometimes a day or two in advance depending on the beginning temperature of each barrel.
AES uses an agitator in every resin barrel of water blown foam (basically every type of foam except 2lb closed cell rigid spray foam which is gas blown). There are two types of agitators; electric and air.
Electric agitators only have two speeds, high and low.
Air agitators can be adjusted for any speed, allowing for precise mixing to yield the best results. As an example, for 0.5lb foam, the manufacturer recommends medium agitation before use, and then light agitation during use, to yield the best results and highest yield. Using an air agitator, and gaining a higher yield out of each barrel or set of spray foam, allows AES to use less sets of foam on your project giving you a lower total price.
Transfer pumps, run by air pressure from an air compressor, draw the product out of each barrel and move it to the proportioner. AES generally uses a Graco E 20 proportioner.
The proportioner controls the hose heaters (contained in all the hosing through which the product travels), controls the amount of product drawn from each barrel, heats the products to the appropriate spray temperature (usually around 150-160 degrees F), and is responsible for the hydraulic pressure driving the product from the proportioner through the spray foam gun onto your project.
The hose running from the proportioner to the spray foam gun actually contains three hoses; one for the isocyanate, one for the resin and one for the purge air continually running through the tip of the spray foam insulation gun to keep it clear.
All of the hosing is heated to keep the product the proper temperature and ensure the necessary chemical reaction to give you the best spray foam insulation.
The resin and the isocyanate do not touch until they reach the actual spray foam gun that applies the foam insulation. Immediately before exiting the spray foam gun the two products are combined in a mixing chamber contained in the gun head, and then sprayed as a uniform product onto your project.
Altogether, each piece and part of equipment combine, and work together, to give you the best product for your project. If any piece or part of equipment were to fail, the resulting foam would neither be up to AES standards nor our promise to deliver the best product to you. Our equipment, our extensive training and our knowledge are what allow us at AES to give you a lifetime warranty on your project.
Here at AES we do not compromise on safety. We require all of our workmen to wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and post warning signs for others in the area. We supply Tyvek suits, gloves, 3M positive air pressure respirators (PAPR), 3M full-faced respirators and fresh air supplied respirators. In addition we go to extremes to control indoor air quality by using a ventilation system.
Exhaust fans are used to control a jet stream and pressurize the entire house/building/area to keep fresh air flowing; similar to what is used in laboratories to change out the air. Our ventilation system reduces the over-spray and all odors so shortly after we finish spraying your project is safe enough for anyone, including children, to walk through. If you are building a new house, this will allow your next contractor to start working without any inhibitions such as needing a respirator or other personal protective equipment.