Every serious builder knows that “every job has its tool”. Choosing the right spray foam insulation gun for your project can make all the difference between an unhappy client and a job well done. Spray Polyurethane Foam (or SPF) is useful for all kinds of insulation needs, including roof, ceilings, walls, pipe insulation and climate-controlled environments. Do-It-Yourself home renovators are also discovering SPF as an excellent alternative to traditional insulation materials.
Builders, contractors, and individual consumers need information about SPF insulation and which spray foam gun is right for them. Not all spray foam insulation guns are created equal: each of the three types has specific use characteristics, as well as benefits and drawbacks. Knowing about which spray foam gun is the best for your job will save you a lot of time and money down the line.
Types of Spray Foam Guns
Your insulation spray foam gun will come in one of three kinds: air purge, mechanical purge, and solvent purge. The primary mechanism for each one is the same: the foam chemicals are kept separate until spraying. When mixed, the materials expand and harden, creating the insulation. The essential difference between these three types of spray foam guns resides in how the foam is pushed out of the chamber.
The types of spray guns available primarily depend on their purging process, or how the gun pushes out any remaining materials from the mechanism before it hardens. The foam spray gun must purge the materials from its chamber. Otherwise, it becomes impossible to use.
Here is more information about each insulation foam spray gun type and what kinds of work it is best for:
Air Purge Spray Foam Guns
The air purge spray foam gun mechanism is simple. Pressing the trigger moves the chemical chambers, which leads to foam production. When you release the trigger, the gun produces a short air blast that pushes out any remaining chemicals from the chamber. This process keeps the gun clean for the next application.
Air purge spray foam guns are the most popular type. Their design reduces the amount of maintenance needed and provides an excellent chemical mix. The mixing chamber has a comparatively long life. These insulation spray foam guns are easy and cheap to maintain with fewer parts and a simpler design than other gun types.
The air purge spray foam gun is perfect for home renovators and jobs that require the same spray pattern across large areas. Since they are simple to operate and maintain, air purge guns are great for budget-conscious buyers.
Solvent Purge Spray Foam Guns
The solvent purge type is more technologically advanced than the air purge gun, but it also comes with drawbacks. In this type of foam spray gun, a chemical solvent is used to prevent the mixing of materials and to flush out any material remaining in the gun chamber. It is mostly used for coating work, rather than space insulation jobs.
Solvent purge insulation spray foam guns are used more frequently by professionals for coating work. Because the solvent is highly effective, the gun requires less air to flush the chamber. You also do not need to drill the mixing chamber. This type of gun has an increased spraying time compared to air purge guns, and less downtime than mechanical purge guns. The solvent mechanism allows for switching from small to large spray patterns quickly.
Solvent purge guns are a little bit costlier because you must purchase the solvent as well as the foam chemicals. The gun must also be kept meticulously clean to prevent inconsistent spraying and unequal chemical mixing, which increases maintenance requirements.
Mechanical Purge Spray Foam Guns
As its name suggests, the mechanical purge gun uses a mechanism, a valving rod, to prevent chemical mixing until the user is ready. Pulling the trigger pulls back the rod, which lets the foam chemicals mix. Once the trigger is released, the rod returns to its original position and, with it, flushes out any remaining foam.
A mechanical purge spray foam gun is useful if you need several different flow rates across jobs. It provides the best mixing and final material across all spray guns. Its results are professional and reliable.
However, the mechanism makes this insulation spray foam gun type involves more moving parts and requires more maintenance. Maintaining a clean valving rod is essential for ensuring consistent results. This gun is perfect for professionals with experience and a maintenance budget.
Evaluating Your Project
A proper project evaluation is essential to choosing the right insulation foam spray gun. Do-it-yourself home renovators usually do fine with easy-to-use air purge guns. They are affordable and simple to use.
Professionals who are more experienced will get the best results with mechanical or solvent guns, depending on the job. Your budget and maintenance abilities will also help you decide what kind of gun is best.
Our experience with a variety of spray gun types and brands allows us to offer excellent customer service to our customers. Intech Equipment is your one-stop shop for everything SPF. Contact us for more information.