Marine Polyurethane Foam 101

marine polyurethane foam 101

Why is it difficult to choose a marine spray foam installer?

Inadequate installer training and/or experience.
Foam problems are not usually made public by the Installer, manufacturer, or the referral source
There are often legal issues associated with settlementsIt is bad for the industry, so the manufacturers don’t…

 

Misrepresentation of the spray foam products used.
Since there are dozens of brands of Marine Spray Foam available, it is important to make sure you are getting what you want and what you paid for.
Solution: The best way to solve this problem is to make sure that you are working with a licensed contractor that is providing you with the spray foam you agreed upon. Not all marine spray foam is created equal, so you need to understand  what you are getting!

 

Poor application of the marine spray foam. The poor application of spray foam by an untrained or unlicensed contractor can lead to severe problems including: loss of production, increased restoration costs, and replacement cost.
Solution: To ensure your marine spray foam is applied correctly, only hire  contractors who have experience with the material you requested and have been trained by the spray foam  manufacturer.
The spray foam chemicals weren’t mixed properly. If the chemicals in the spray foam aren’t mixed properly it can cause the material to pull away from the cavity where it has been applied. When this happens, a barrier is not created, thus causing the need for re-installation.
Solution: Make sure that the contractor you hire has experience installing marine spray foam. Also ensure the contractor has a good working history with the U.S Coast Guard and Marine Engineering Firms.

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Learn more about Marine Foam!

All rigid polyurethane foam starts out as a two-part liquid. When combined, it expands into a closed cell foam, which resists absorption of water.

Once fully cured, polyurethane foam can be applied to many different substrates.

Polyurethane foam can be sprayed in multiple layers with excellent bonding between layers.

All expansion rates and times are temperature critical. Temperatures below 75 °F (24 °C) will lower the expansion rate and therefore require more foam. Ideal working temperature are 75 °F (24 °C) to 85 °F (29 °C).

Accurate measuring and strict application protocol is extremely critical.

The 2 lb. density chemical formulation is commonly used for filling floatation voids, filling under decks, and practically all insulation applications. Higher density foam can be used for specific structural uses. Density refers to the weight per cubic foot of expanded foam (12″ x 12″ x 12″).

Rigid polyurethane foam is amazingly strong, yet lightweight, and is both dimensionally stable and moisture-resistant with low vapor transmission. This superior combination of properties allows for thermal insulating products that have structure, and it can be combined with a wide range of substrates while requiring no additional adhesive. When combined with the proper materials, polyurethane foam can perform as external weather and moisture barriers.

Polyurethane products, when properly installed, are not affected by oil-based waterproofing.

Some rigid polyurethane foams can be applied onsite to seal gaps and cover irregular shapes. Such foams include spray and pour-in-place.

Marine foam must comply with U.S. Coast Guard requirements under Title 33 CFR.

The Code of Federal Regulations are very specific about testing for water absorption, resistance to fuel, fuel vapor, bilge cleaner and oil.

Here are the requirements regarding Title 33 CFR 183.114: Test of flotation materials.

(a) Vapor test. The flotation material must not reduce in buoyant force more than 5 percent after being immersed in a fully saturated gasoline vapor atmosphere for 30 days at a minimum temperature of 38 °C.

(b) 24-hour gasoline test. The flotation material must not reduce in buoyant force more than 5 percent after being immersed for 24 hours at 23 plus or minus 2 °C in reference fuel B, of ASTM D 471.

(c) 30-day gasoline test. The flotation material must not reduce in buoyant force more than 5 percent after being immersed for 30 days at 23 plus or minus 2 °C in reference fuel B, of ASTM D 471.

(d) 24-hour oil test. The flotation material must not reduce in buoyant force more than 5 percent after being immersed for 24 hours at 23 plus or minus 2 °C in reference oil No. 2, of ASTM D 471.

(e) 30-day oil test. The flotation material must not reduce in buoyant force more than 5 percent after being immersed for 30 days at 23 plus or minus 2 °C in reference oil No. 2, of ASTM D 471.

(f) 24-hour bilge cleaner test. The flotation material must not reduce in buoyant force more than 5 percent after being immersed for 24 hours at 23 plus or minus 2 °C in a 5-percent solution of trisodium phosphate in water.

(g) 30-day bilge cleaner test. The flotation material must not reduce in buoyant force more than 5 percent after being immersed for 30 days at 23 plus or minus 2 °C in a 5-percent solution of trisodium phosphate in water.

(h) The buoyant force reduction in paragraphs (a) through (g) of this section is measured in accordance with ASTM D 2842.