- 1. One-component and two-component polyurethane foam - what's the difference?
- 2. Main characteristics of
- 3. Which foam is better, household or professional
- 4. What are “summer”, “winter” and “all-season” mounting foam?
- 5. How to use the mounting foam
- correctly 6.
- manufacturers in brief 7. What to look for when buying an
It is difficult to imagine even the smallest repair without using such universal means as mounting foam. With its help, you can easily cope with tasks such as sealing joints, eliminating voids and gaps formed after installing new interior or entrance doors, and many other tasks. Going into any hardware store is very easy to get confused, given the extensive range offered by different manufacturers. How to navigate and which mounting foam is better to choose, to get the desired result, we will understand in this article.
1. One-component and two-component polyurethane foam - what's the difference?
Polyurethane foam or polyurethane foam sealant is an
blend of two chemicals
( polyol and isocyanate), which are derived from crude oil. As a result of the reaction of these components with each other, pure polyurethane foam is formed, which is the basis of the foam after the crystallization process is completed. To improve the properties of the material, various catalysts and adhesion enhancers, refractory additives, antifreeze components and filler gases are often added to the composition. Due to the porous structure of hardened polyurethane, the foam serves as an excellent insulator. It can be applied to a variety of surface materials - stone, concrete, iron, wood, plastic. Such a wide range of compatibility allows solving a lot of construction issues. Depending on the chemical composition,
is a one- and two-component foam.
- For the most part, the entire diversity of this material, presented in shop windows, is one-component. Packed such a composition in a balloon. The main disadvantage of is the short shelf life due to the possible appearance of uncontrolled reactions inside the cylinder and a long period of solidification. It takes about a day to fully set. The principle of its operation is very simple - at the exit from the cylinder, the composition enters into a chemical reaction with moisture, which is contained in the ambient air, instantly increases in volume and after the above time completely hardens. The foaming agent is a mixture of liquefied gases - a propellant, which consists of butane, isobutane and propane. The same mixture contributes to the formation of pressure inside the cylinder, due to which the foam comes out through the nozzle. When contacting with air, the expansion occurs in a 20-40-fold size, which allows filling even the most hard-to-reach places with high quality and without the formation of internal cavities.
- Two-component assembly foam is more complex and expensive to operate. The difficulty is due to the fact that immediately before use you will have to mix several forming components with your own hands, which are stored separately in special cylinders. It is very important to strictly adhere to certain proportions, otherwise the resulting mixture will not have the desired characteristics. The chemical reaction that is formed when mixed, do without the participation of air from the environment and runs much faster. Additional costs will be associated with the need to purchase a special gun-mixer or installation with a gun, in which the composition will be prepared. Its main distinguishes from a single-component material by the rate of solidification. The process of complete crystallization takes only 20-30 minutes, and the excess material can be cut off within 10 minutes after application. Also, the process of polymerization of a two-component foam does not depend on the indicator of air humidity and is always successful. The shelf life is also increased due to the separate content of the forming substances. However, the prepared mixture is unsuitable for repeated use and implies a full consumption of the cylinder after preparation.
So, let's summarize. Use of two-component compositions makes sense only to professionals in the field of construction and repairs. For one-time use at home, a single-component foam bottle is sufficient. Even a person who has never used this material before will be able to use foam in a cylinder with a nozzle in the form of a plastic tube.
2. Basic characteristics of
Like any building material, polyurethane foam has a number of characteristics, the quality of the product depends on which indicator. All highlights will be indicated on the label. So, what is worth paying attention to when buying:
- The degree of primary expansion is an indicator of how many times the volume of foam at the outlet of the cylinder will increase upon contact with air.
- The degree of secondary expansion is an indicator of an increase in the volume of the material after the full crystallization period.
- Foam Density. It affects the rate of expansion. In household foam, this figure is lower than that of professional. To obtain a very tight joint, you must purchase a foam with a low secondary expansion ratio.
- Viscosity is a property of a material that ensures the foam does not grow over the surface.
- Shrinkage - indicated in percent and implies a reduction in the final volume of the composition by the specified value.
- Foam output. On each cylinder you can see the numbers - "50", "60", "70".What do they mean? This is the number of liters of foam produced at the outlet of the cylinder. But this amount can only be obtained under the condition of operation at the correct temperature conditions and controlled humidity parameters. Usually the actual amount of foam will be smaller.
- Adhesion to materials - in other words, the ability of the composition to "stick" to various surfaces.
- Full hardening and trimming time - taking into account these indicators, you will be able to have an idea of the time it takes to carry out the work, and understand how many hours you can plaster, grind or grind the seam to other influences without harm to it.
- Balloon weight is a very important indicator. Consider that if a 750 ml volume is indicated on the cylinder, then it should weigh at least 850-920 grams. If it is lighter, then the composition inside is much smaller than stated. This can often be found in unscrupulous manufacturers. For clarity, you can hold in the hands of cylinders of different brands with the same volume. It is possible that one of them will obviously be harder. It is worth buying.
3. Which foam is better, household or professional
It is very simple to distinguish household installation foam from professional foam. Just look at the balloon - if a nozzle in the form of a thin plastic tube is attached to it, it means it is intended for household needs. However, it is impossible to assert unequivocally that only beginners use this foam, and professionals must use a pistol nozzle. Consider basic differences, that will help you decide and choose the appropriate type.
- The first thing that is immediately noticeable is the amount of packing. Household foam is sold in bottles with a capacity of 300 ml and above, while professional foam - from 750 ml and above.
- An important indicator - the release of foam from a cylinder. In the case of domestic aerosol, not all of the composition can be fully blown. Usually, some part remains inside, and from the volume declared by the manufacturer you will get a few average value. Thus, instead of the required one cylinder, it may take two, and this already affects the costs associated with the repair. In this regard, professional foam has shown itself to be much better, which is blown out almost completely.
- The coefficient of secondary expansion in household formulations is very large. In the process of final solidification, they can increase in volume up to two times. The same coefficient in professional foam is almost zero. Good or bad depends on the nature of the work performed. For example, if you are faced with the task of filling a large gap in the wall or eliminating the squeaks of an old wooden floor by blowing out foam under it, then a significant expansion indicator is a plus. If you install the slopes, plastic windows or doors, then it is better to fill the space around them with the composition with the lowest coefficient of expansion. Otherwise, there is the likelihood of deformation of the surface. Only with proper skills to work with this material, you can use household foam for such precision work. Usually, specialists fill only 1/3 of the gaps with foam, knowing that it has finally hardened, it will fill the entire space without changing the geometry of the adjacent surfaces.
- The shrinkage rate of household foam is 5-7%.Professional - 0-3%.
- Household foam, of course, benefits from the need to use an additional device in the form of a mounting gun. It is enough to wind the tube supplied in the kit onto the container, shake well, and the foam is ready for use. Professional formulations work only with the help of a pistol, the cost of which is several times higher than the cost of the balloon with foam. For single use at home, such expenses are impractical. After all, in addition, it will be necessary to purchase a special solvent that will clean the tip of the gun from the foam residue.
- Reusable use is undesirable for domestic bottles, but possible. If it was not possible to use the entire cylinder to the end, clean the internal cavity of the tube from foam residues with propellant gas and store in a cool, dark place. Partial professional foam can be used. But it is necessary to store it with a pistol on a balloon. In this case, the foam inside does not harden and is suitable for further use. The nozzle of the gun must be cleaned with a special solvent.
- And the most is the main difference - the nature of the work performed. Household foam is used for single, rough work that does not require precise dosing. Professional formulations are distinguished by their high precision application and are used to seal joints or heat insulation.
4. What are “summer”, “winter” and “all-season” foam?
One of the important parameters of the foam, about which I would like to say separately, is the temperature mode of operation. Be sure to consider the temperature in and outside the room before purchasing foam. It's no wonder that this parameter is indicated on the cylinders. Following the manufacturer's recommendations, it is possible to achieve the best quality of the material obtained at certain times of the year. distinguishes three types of assembly foam:
- Summer - used for temperatures from 5 to 35 ° C.Usually used for repair work inside or outside the room in the warm season.
- Winter - operating temperature range is -10-35 ° С.
- All-season foam - used at ambient temperatures from -10 ° C to + 35 ° C.
Why is it so important to comply with these conditions? Because the use of, for example, summer foam at subzero temperatures will affect the duration of its complete solidification, the density of the weld, the expansion coefficient and the volume of foam at the exit. All these indicators will differ significantly from those stated on the label, and the quality of the work performed will noticeably deteriorate. The time for complete crystallization will increase significantly. The same will happen if you use winter foam in the hot season.
Concerning the all-season foam - , an important nuance of for its use is the temperature of the liquid bottle. Yes, the operating temperature range allows the use of foam at negative indicators, but professionals recommend heating the aerosol to a temperature of + 10 ° C.In this case, the characteristics of the material will be much higher.
5. How to use
assembly foam Consider the situations when is advisable, and when not very, use assembly foam:
- You should not use foam for sealing cracks less than 1 cm wide. For these purposes, sealants should be better usedmore plastic materials, such as putty. In addition, these materials do not have a secondary expansion.
- If the gap width exceeds the mark of 10 cm, before filling it with foam, it is better to further reduce the space using wooden beams, bricks or any other compactor. This will significantly reduce the consumption of foam and increase its adhesion to the surface. Otherwise, under its own weight, it can simply slide along the walls of the cracks of large width.
- The optimal size of gaps for filling with mounting foam is 2-8 cm.
- For the quickest polymerization and better adhesion of the foam to the adjacent surface, many recommend slightly wetting the walls before application. And then, spray the assembly seam with water from the spray gun after primary solidification.
- It is not recommended to use foam on surfaces such as Teflon, silicone, polyethylene and other oily or dusty walls. She just will not stick to similar materials.
- Be sure to consider the coefficients of primary and secondary expansion. This will help to understand how thick the seam is to be put into the gap of a certain width.
- Before using the bottle, be sure to clean the surface according to the instructions on the package.
- If the balloon is too cold or you brought it from the cold, hold it in warm water( not more than 20 ° C).
- To ensure a better mixing of the components with each other, turn the can upright and shake for 1 minute.
- Wear protective gloves. Dried foam is very hard to wash.
- Never touch freshly applied foam until it freezes. You not only get dirty, but also break the structure of the material. This can lead to poor curing or incomplete expansion.
- In order to achieve the output of the full volume of foam from the cylinder, be sure to hold it vertically and upside down until it is completely finished.
- Polyurethane foam should have a pale yellow color throughout its life. But you can see that over time it may darken. This is caused by the detrimental effect of ultraviolet rays that destroy the structure. Whenever possible seams are better to plaster or paint, thereby protecting from sunlight.
Using a foam bottle is very simple. Enough to wind the tube and the working nozzle is ready. But if you still decide to purchase a professional foam and special gun, you need to be able to use it correctly. The principle of its operation is very simple - the gun is screwed onto the cylinder, after which the foam enters the barrel through the feed valve. There it remains until you pull the trigger. After that, the material is released with a given volume. Consider the Highlights:
- Choose pistols that are made of solid metal only.
- To facilitate the cleaning and replacement of parts, it is better to purchase collapsible than monolithic models.
- Immediately purchase a special cleaner.
- Before installing the gun on the cylinder, unscrew the fastening screw, lubricate the socket with technical petroleum jelly and only then proceed to its fastening.
- First you need to install the adjusting unit at the minimum rate of foam consumption.
- Turn the can over and make a couple of test taps. So you can visually assess the need to increase the supply and adjust the volume to fit your needs.
- Ensure that the cylinder is always in an upright position during operation.
- At the end of work or when replacing a cylinder, be sure to thoroughly clean the gun.
By adhering to these key recommendations, you can easily cope with the use of any type of foam.
6. Manufacturers in brief
The choice of a reliable and trusted manufacturer is the key to high quality materials. It is no secret that the cost of a product can tell a lot about its properties, because it is not possible to make a high-quality product from cheap components. But and overvalued is not always associated with the use of high-quality raw materials. Often, too-promoted brands spend a lot of money on advertising a product, which automatically increases its price, and you just get a brighter and more memorable packaging, and not higher technical characteristics than a less expensive product. Therefore, we consider proven brands with not overstated prices:
- "Macroflex" - has a high adhesion index and structure homogeneity. The output of the foam, stated on the package, corresponds to reality. However, in recent times there have been many fakes, which led to numerous complaints about the deterioration of the quality of the goods. Cost depending on the type of foam is 150-470 rubles.
- "Moment Installation" - has a dense and uniform structure, well-painted, quite common in the network of hardware stores. It has a large indicator of secondary expansion, and in a couple of years it can lose elasticity. The price is 145-245 rubles.
- "Soudal" is a very high-quality product with a fine-grained structure. It features no shrinkage. Available in several versions - winter, summer and fire resistant. It has a faint smell. But not for sale everywhere. The cost is 195-395 rubles.
- "Worn" - has a good indicator of foam output from the cylinder, has a bright white color and a low coefficient of secondary expansion. Not intended for outdoor use. At a temperature of more than + 35 ° stops foaming. Price - 200-485 rubles.
- "Titan" - has a dense structure, no shrinkage and a small indicator of secondary expansion. Used for thermal insulation of heating and water supply systems. The output of the foam can be defined as medium, not complete. The price varies from 200 to 265 rubles.
7. What to look for when buying an
You will certainly not be able to assess the quality of the material right in the store, but there are several signs, , which will help you to choose a really high-quality product:
- Pay attention to the packaging, or rather to its condition. The cylinder should not be scratches, dents, nicks and other mechanical damage. Their presence indicates inadequate storage, which will necessarily affect the final result, or negligent transportation, which indicates the unreliability of the manufacturer.
- Be sure to check the shelf life of the composition. The “fresher” the date, the better qualities the substance has.
- Turn the balloon up and down several times or shake gently. You should feel the fluid inside roll quickly and easily. If it seems that the components "fall" to the bottom of the cylinder, it means that the process of solidification has begun. Mix, as it should, this foam will not work.
- According to your feelings, the weight of the container must exceed the displacement declared on the package. A 500 ml bottle should not weigh exactly 0.5 kg. So there’s a lot less liquid inside, and you’ll get fewer liters of finished foam at the outlet.
This is a quick visual inspection already says a lot about the product that you hold in your hands, and save you from fakes.