How to Evaluate & Compare Spray Foam Machines

spray foam health and safetySpray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) is critical for every successful roofing business. SPF installation in commercial and residential roofs keep buildings safe and secure from weather and the elements.

Knowing which spray foam machine to use to apply the SPF is an important consideration. A spray foam machine is a vital piece of SPF insulation equipment that maintains the proper temperature of the necessary chemicals and pumps them through a hose to the applicator.

For many SPF insulation and roofing companies, spray foam machines serve as the backbone of the operation. Thanks to continuing advances in SPF equipment technology over the last several years, these machines produce consistent results for contractors each time they use them.

I Need to Purchase a Spray Foam Machine: What Are My Options?

Often referred to as proportioners, spray foam machines are sophisticated pieces of spray foam equipment. Spray foam machines require knowledge and training to operate and maintain.

Once you have this experience, in some cases, it may be more cost-efficient for SPF contractors to buy a used spray foam machine versus a brand-new piece of machine.

Before buying a new or used spray foam machine, you should have a sound understanding of the major components that impact every aspect of the SPF application process, from the maximum hose length to the machine startup time.

Consider this important overview when comparing spray foam machines. In general, they come in three styles:

  1. Air Driven Machines. These devices include two separate material pumps that are driven by one air motor simultaneously. They are capable of spraying any two- component material system. One advantage to air drive, or pneumatic, machines is lower electrical requirements, which allows for the use of a smaller, affordable generator power source. These machines tend to be an excellent option for turnkey, self-contained mobile spray rigs, especially when smaller budgets are a priority.
  2. Electric Driven Machines. Electric driven spray foam machines feature two, independent material pumps and are common in residential and light commercial applications. Because sprayfoam machines have electric heaters and pump motors, they typically require more power than other types of machines, thus requiring larger generators.
  3. Hydraulic Driven Machines. Hydraulic driven machines feature independent, horizontal hydraulic pumps electrically powered. These machines deliver consistent spray pressure and need very little maintenance. With hydraulic driven machines, the heaters and control panel are electric and require less power than comparably sized completely electric machines.

A Few More Factors to Consider

  • An important consideration when researching spray foam machines, output refers to the amount of mixed spray material a machine can deliver in a particular period. It affects the efficiency of your operation and also determines how fast you can complete jobs. Typically, the higher the spray foam machine’s output capabilities, the more expensive the machine is. Larger heaters and higher output pumps are required to achieve a higher output. Many of the newer, hydraulic models available on the market today are specifically designed for high-output performance.
  • Pressure Rating. A spray foam machine’s pressure rating provides you with the level of pressure the equipment will generate during the process of mixing the SPF materials. Be sure your spray foam machine’s output and pressure settings align with those of your SPF gun, and the components you are spraying. We encourage customers to always refer to their spray foam machine’s “Tech Data Sheet” for the pressure settings of the chemicals you use.
  • Heating Capacity. Temperature is a critical consideration when using SPF materials. The temperature impacts the viscosity of the foam and must be dispensed at the proper temperature to achieve the proper thickness and ensure the highest quality, most consistent product. 
  • Electrical System. Spray foam machines include many individual elements that require power. A spray foam machine must have its electrical system supplied with sufficient power from either a shore source of energy or a mobile source, such as a generator, to accommodate the electric loads to the components.

The Bottom Line

When you first enter the SPF industry, there is no question that the equipment buying adventure can be daunting, especially because you may lack the technical knowledge involved in purchasing the right pieces.

In fact, the entire process is complicated as polyurethane spray foam machines have so many available options including the type of pump, the pump size, the heating capacity, the control unit, and more. For that reason, it is crucial that SPF contractors become educated and prepared when it comes to investing in a spray foam machine that best fits their needs.

At Intech Equipment and Supply, we believe that whether you are purchasing a new or used spray foam machine, you should have all the information you need to make an informed buying decision.

We offer a variety of spray foam machines in numerous types and sizes. We are committed to helping you select the one that best fits your needs. With options available in all price ranges, you can also find one that fits your budget. Contact us today to learn more.