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Soy Based Spray Foam

 
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:35 PM   #1
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Soy Based Spray Foam


Just had my architect (leed certified) ask me if I could use Soy based spray foam in this next project we have coming up. It involves a 3 story porch on the back of the house and on the third floor, we'll be expanding out a new bathroom and the shower will actually be framed out on the new porch, but closed in. I'm worried about it being cold, so I want to use normal closed cell. she is wanting to lean towards greener ways of doing it. I looked into it but found that it looks like the soy based is not R-7 per inch.

How many of you guys are installing soy based and how much more is it to buy than petroleum based foam. roughly, not looking for exact prices. I'm sure it's gotta be a considerable amount more


This job is small, so I'm not sure i will be able to even get anyone to come out and spray around a big shower stall extension this house, when nothing else is getting done there for insulation.

thanks
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:50 PM   #2
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Re: Soy Based Spray Foam


Just throwing an idea out; why not cellulose?

It's LEED certified, an effective insulation, mold resistant, pest resistant and cheaper than foam. It allows the exterior wall to breathe when using a vapor barrier on the inside of the wall.

When insulating a complete bathroom gut, that's what I use on tub surrounds/showers that have an exterior wall.

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Old 05-17-2010, 09:21 PM   #3
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Re: Soy Based Spray Foam


Demilic - maybe a few cents more if memory serves me correctly

I wouldn't hold to much stock in CC being an r7 - maybe when installed but it drops down to a 6.X after a while & then holds steady at that number

You could always look into buying a pack, so you could self install it, but I would stick with a pro if they are not to busy (about the same cost)
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:18 PM   #4
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Re: Soy Based Spray Foam


i spray demilec products and the soybased cc foam is the same price as petroleum based r6.8 per inch
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Old 06-26-2010, 06:17 PM   #5
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Re: Soy Based Spray Foam


I have sprayed Bio Base. It shrinks like crazy. It has an odor. All polyurethanes comes in two drums, isocyanate and polyol. ALL polurethane foams, including "soy" foams are 50% isocyanate, which is petroleum based. The polyol side has the soy, which replaces SOME of the petroleum, along with other chemicals such as catalysts, surfactants and fire retardants. The soy people cannot replace all of the petroleum in the polyol side because it doesn't work. Why would you want a product that is compromised for the sake of a marketing gimmick? The FTC is coming down on these companies for making false claims. The soy component is 5 to 10 % of the product. The manufacturers won't tell you because they know they are lying when they say it is soy based. If LEED gives more points for soy foam than other foams, shame on LEED.

What about the embodied energy of tractors driving around, the use of fossil fuel based fertilzers and pesticides to grow the soy, the drastic loss of topsoil that is agriculture (read "Dirt", a great book).

I think foam is great as the amount of fuel saved vastly justfies using petroleum to make it.

There are a number of good foams. I spray Lapolla as it sprays great and has low odor.
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Old 06-26-2010, 06:22 PM   #6
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Re: Soy Based Spray Foam


Buy a 200 or 600 BF kit such as Froth Pak. It isn't worth a spray foam contractor's time to spray such a small job, but it is worth having a well insulated shower for comfort.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:26 PM   #7
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Re: Soy Based Spray Foam


Find a DemilecUSA authorized contractor and use Heatlock Soy 200, its the best CC foam I've sprayed (out of 4 brands) The last I heard the R-value is at 7.2 but they didn't have the tests back from independent labs yet.
Just go to demilecusa.com and there's a authorized contractor link there. Hope this helps
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:42 AM   #8
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Re: Soy Based Spray Foam


Have sprayed foam for almost 10 years - have sprayed all the soy based products on the market that I'm aware of - some spray great, others are terrible. Bottom line is that the soy polyol is inconsistent and therefore soy foam is inconsistent.

Also - Dr. Warm is right - there is only a couple % of soy polyol in a set of soy foam so don't be fooled. We have sprayed Icynene's MDR (medium density renewable) product which has recycled plastic pop bottles in it and it sprays great - has an R5.2 per inch. Its pricy, but its the best I've sprayed.

If you're going for LEED points - then Icynene is your "golden ticket". They've made more progress w/ LEED than any other foam mfg. that I know of. Their website is plastered with LEED stuff and they have a great resources page that has a LEED spec that will show you exactly how their products will get you LEED points.
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:02 PM   #9
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Re: Soy Based Spray Foam


Dr Warm - The numbers you want - on average 65% of part B is the "propellant" and up to 25% of that can be replaced at max per industry rep at the Bldng Science Camp - now exactly how much certain companies do, well....

bldgscnc - all foams can lead to inconsistent results, proper care & installation count for all of them, and yes that applies to soy formulas as well - trying to say they are all bad is the same as saying all contractors are crooks...
You really do not want to get me started on Icenyne & their BS marketing - so quite simply, all major foam suppliers can get you the same LEED points
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Old 08-05-2010, 08:36 AM   #10
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Re: Soy Based Spray Foam


bldgscnc - all foams can lead to inconsistent results, proper care & installation count for all of them, and yes that applies to soy formulas as well - trying to say they are all bad is the same as saying all contractors are crooks...
You really do not want to get me started on Icenyne & their BS marketing - so quite simply, all major foam suppliers can get you the same LEED points[/quote]

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Originally Posted by SLSTech View Post

bldgscnc - all foams can lead to inconsistent results, proper care & installation count for all of them, and yes that applies to soy formulas as well - trying to say they are all bad is the same as saying all contractors are crooks...
You really do not want to get me started on Icenyne & their BS marketing - so quite simply, all major foam suppliers can get you the same LEED points

SLStech - wasn't saying they are all bad - was saying soy polyol is inconsistent. That is why soy "based" foams can only contain a very small amount of the polyol. Not all soy is processed down to food-grade consistency like sugar or vegetable oil.

Half the land in our state is in soy beans so this is something I'm familiar with. Soil type, soy bean variety, chemicals applied to the plant during growing season, and the Q.C. standards of the processing plant itself will create a pretty wide range of different grades of soy polyols.

Soy foams are among the most inconsistent bio-foams out there and the most inconsistent ones are those that utilize the highest percentages of the soy polyol.

The more soy, the more finicky the foam is to spray. I've had one set spray great, and the next fall out of the wall. Same brand of foam, sprayed with the same equipment, same ambient temp & humidity, same equipment temps & pressures, same resin agitation rate & time, same job, same wall, same sprayer with 8 years spraying experience. I've had reasonably good luck spraying the Demilec Heatlok product. Had some minor adhesion problems and pull away, but nothing major. Touch'd it up prior to leaving the job and customer was happy.

Many foam mfgs (including Icynene) have opted to utilize other - more stable/consistent - bio-sources for their renewable foams like castor oil, sugar/sucrose, and recycled materials so that their products spray out and yield more consistently. I've sprayed Icynene MDR 2.0lb foam to a metal wall with an 1/8" of frost on it and it burned off the water and after it cured I almost couldn't pull it off the metal it adhered so well. When I did get it off I found zero voids.

Why do you say that Icynene's marketing is BS? I've found it to be very helpful as a contractor trying to get LEED commercial work. They've taken the initiative to make it easier for the contractor - like myself - to walk in the door of a GC or institution and plop down a doc that talks about LEED and how their product fits into that system.

Icynene also the product I see spec'd most frequently by architects who specify foam and I believe that is because they've been doing lunch-n-learns for the past 15+ years. Very few other foam companies have taken that kind of initiative.

They're promoting their product and in so doing they are pushing spray foam into the "main stream" promoting the concept of air-sealing/insulating a building envelope with spray foam which helps all foam mfgs. and contractors.

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