What is Polyurethane Foam And How is it Used?

If you are trying to save money on heating and cooling then polyurethane foam is for you. Of course, polyurethane foam comes in many styles and variants which do more than insulate. There are pliable kinds of polyurethane foam and firm kinds of the same product. The following article will share with you what polyurethane foam actually is and what it is used for in your everyday life.

Polyurethane Foam - What is It?

This substance is among several compounds known as reaction polymers. Also in this class of compounds are phenolics, epoxies and unsaturated polyesters. Urethane is produced by linking the reaction of an isocyanate group and an alcohol group such as hydroxyl. Chemical reaction occurs through the adding of other groups that react together such as polyisocyanate with polyalcohol. It is these chemical reactions and bonds that create polyurethane in its many forms. The foam is just a delivery system just as if you sprayed it from a can as a sealer for a deck. The foam expands when it reacts with oxygen molecules and then hardens. Depending on the chemical compound, however, it may also be more pliable. These differences in polyurethane foam are what make it a versatile product for the homeowner. Polyurethane products can be produced with extenders within the chemical compound. These extenders and cross-linkers can make polyurethane foam suitable as a flame retardant and as a filler.

Electrical Work and Polyurethane Foam

Working with electricity is an obviously dangerous job and, unfortunately, short circuits can happen. When this occurs the spark can run rampant through the home starting many electrical fires. An electrical fire can utterly destroy a home in no time. This is where a flame retardant polyurethane foam comes in useful. After the wiring is installed and the walls are assembled an electrician can spray polyurethane foam inside them. The foam expands filling the crevices. If there is a short the fire will not spread as there is no oxygen to feed it and the foam won't burn. You can also localize the foam to just the electrical boxes.

The Perfect Insulation

You cannot seal off every nook and crevice of your home. If you have an air conditioner or windows you have an access point for cold air to enter and warm air to escape. Polyurethane foam is used to seal these areas to protect you from losing money and to help keep the heat or cool air in the home. Simply spray the foam in the crevice and it will expand to fill it and then harden.

Housing Material

This material can actually be used to build a home. All you need is a wire frame and mesh and fill it with polyurethane foam. When it hardens you can cut holes and carve it so you can install windows, electrical and heating.

Furniture Foam

Flexible varieties of polyurethane foam are sprayed into block forms. As the foam dries it becomes firm but soft and flexible. These blocks are then cut down and used as seat cushions for your furniture.