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Icynene Has a New Foam With a Higher R-Value

The company says its Classic Plus open-cell spray foam will help builders meet requirements of the 2012 building code

Posted on May 19 2014 by Scott Gibson

IcyneneOpen-cell, low-density spray foam insulation that can be used in wall, floor, and roof assemblies. It has an R-value of about 3.6 per inch and a vapor permeability of about 10 perms at 5 inches thick. is now offering a low-density polyurethane foam insulation with a slightly higher R-valueMeasure of resistance to heat flow; the higher the R-value, the lower the heat loss. The inverse of U-factor. , which the company says will help builders meet stricter energy code requirements.

The product is called Icynene Classic Plus. The manufacturer says that the two-part spray foam insulation has an R-value of 4 per inch, compared to R-3.7 per inch for its Classic and Classic Max open-cell foam products.

Sprayed into a 2x6 wall, the foam would provide a total of R-22 in stud cavities. (Whole-wall R-values would be lower because of thermal bridgingHeat flow that occurs across more conductive components in an otherwise well-insulated material, resulting in disproportionately significant heat loss. For example, steel studs in an insulated wall dramatically reduce the overall energy performance of the wall, because of thermal bridging through the steel. at wall studs, headers, and other framing members.) The company's other low-density polyurethane foams have R-values of 3.7 per inch, meaning that 2x6 wall cavities with these older formulations would have a total R-value of 20.35.

The new product that attains R-22 has a high enough R-value to meet the International Code Council's 2012 energy requirements (explained in a blog by GBA senior editor Martin Holladay). But Icynene said that most states are using the 2009 energy code, which requires R-21 in Climate Zones 7 and 8, and some jurisdictions that have adopted the 2012 requirements have modified it so that it, too, calls for R-21 in wall cavities.

"We initially developed the Classic Plus to meet the 2009 code, but have seen other climate zones adopt the R-21 value as well, so we can satisfy all areas in the country that require R-21 (even R-22) in 2x6 wood stud walls," a company spokesman said by e-mail.

Like other open-cell polyurethane foams, Classic Plus is vapor-permeable. But it has slightly higher density than other Icynene open-cell products, 0.7 lb. per cubic foot (pcf) vs. 0.5 pcf. It's also water-blown, so it has minimal global warming potential, Icynene says.

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  1. Icynene

May 19, 2014 11:20 AM ET

They are finally competing head to head...
by Dana Dorsett

...with Demilec's 0.7lb "Agribalance" open cell product it would seem!

It would be nice if other vendors stepped up with products similar to Icycene's ~2-2.2lb density semi-open water blown foam though, which have favorable properties over other 2lb foams beyond the high global warming potential aspects of the blowing agents.

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