Huntsman Technology Behind Success of Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF)
Did you know the average home could be leaking anywhere between 30 to 50 percent of its circulating air through cracks and crevices? Were you aware that Huntsman's technology is behind a product that will stop those leaks and improve energy efficiency?
Huntsman Polyurethanes manufactures the chemical components used in spray polyurethane foam (SPF) – an insulation material that is taking the place of traditional fibrous insulation in home and commercial building construction.
How it Works
SPF is spray-applied in situ at a building site using two liquid components – MDI (the A-side) and polyol blend (the B-side). These are mixed under pressure and sprayed into wall cavities, roof underlays, basements, attics and/or crawlspaces. The reacting liquids expand and solidify into a foam matrix. This creates a seamless seal that fills the cracks and crevices from which hot and cold air, moisture, and even sound enter a building.
The market for SPF is growing as more builders turn to it to help meet building codes and green building certification requirements, such as the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for Homes (LEED-H) and LEED for commercial buildings, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR® rating.
Saving Energy and Utility and Construction Costs
SPF featuring Huntsman's technology was selected last year to insulate one of the first homes in Houston being evaluated for a LEED-H Platinum certification – the highest ranking. For this project, SPF was used in the walls, cathedral ceilings, attics and the underside of roof decks to provide an effective, tight thermal and air barrier. The result is a reduction in energy loss due to air infiltration, which significantly lowers heating and cooling costs for the homeowner.
In addition to energy savings, homeowners can recognize further savings as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment is typically downsized. This can lead to an overall reduction in HVAC equipment costs in new home construction.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, buildings account for approximately 40 percent of the total energy consumed in the United States. The majority of building energy use is spent on space heating and cooling, and a large fraction of that energy is lost through the building envelope due to air leakage. “SPF mitigates this problem, by acting as both an effective thermal insulation material, as well as an air barrier,” says Monica Karamagi, regional marketing and industry affairs manager, Huntsman Polyurethanes.
Cleaner Indoor Air Quality
SPF also restricts the infiltration of moisture, outdoor allergens and pollutants into a building. This can lead to a healthier indoor air quality for the building’s occupants. Through vapor retardation, SPF also helps prevent moisture from accumulating in the walls, and thus helps reduce condensation and mold.
For more information on Huntsman’s SPF technology, click here.