How to Use a Spray Foam Insulation Machine for Roofing

How to Use a Spray Foam Insulation Machine for Roofing

The main task of your spray foam insulation machine is to pressurize and heat materials A and B so that when they meet in your spray foam gun, the right chemical reaction will happen to produce spray foam insulation. 

Creating quality polyurethane foam isn’t rocket science. It’s simply the result of good science. Spray foam is the product of proper material storage and processing. When you use your proportioner correctly, it sets your materials at the right temperature, ratio, and viscosity. 

How do you operate an SPF machine to produce spray foam that is of consistently great quality?

Here is how to use a spray foam insulation machine for roofing.

First, Know What Your Machine Needs.

The typical spray foam machine requires these elements to function:

  • A system for safely storing and handling materials.
    • Heating elements to keep drums warm in winter.
    • Desiccants to prevent crystallization in ISO.
    • A rig to store all your equipment safely.
  • A material feed system, which includes but isn’t limited to:
    • Air supply
    • Transfer Pumps
    • Heated Hoses
  • A Spray Gun

If you want an expert to guide you through what your existing machine specifically needs, contact us and we’ll be glad to help you select all the right components.

Properly Store Materials A & B

Before you get started, you’ll need to set up your spray foam materials. You’ll typically have two 55-gallon drums that you can with materials A and B respectively. Material A is Polymeric isocyanate, also known as ISO. Material B is often called resin, polyol, or the R-component. 

Both materials must always be stored at the manufacturer’s recommended temperatures , or else your spray foam’s ratios can be affected during the application process. 

Setup & Prep

Before you can send any material into your proportioner, you must connect some parts to it. First, you’ll need to attach transfer pumps to send materials from the material drum to your machine. You should then attach heated hoses to the machine and spray foam gun. This hose will carry the processed materials into the spray gun.

Consult the manufacturer’s specifications to set the pre-heaters to the right materials. Typically, closed cell spray foam is set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit and open cell foam is set to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. You should also set the pressure gauges to the recommended settings, which starts at 1,000 psi, but it will vary according to the material you’re using. 

Your machine should also keep track of the temperatures within the hose and alert you if it falls below the recommended levels. Make sure that you set the appropriate tap setting to accommodate different hose lengths. You can find specific instructions on how to operate these features on your machine by consulting the manufacturer’s manual.

Activate the Transfer

When everything is ready, your rig’s air supply sends A and B materials into the machine through the transfer pumps. In the machine, these materials are pressurized. Then, they are sent through their respective hoses into pre-heaters, each of which is set to the recommended temperatures for each material. Materials from hoses A and B then meet in your spray gun.

Apply Spray Foam 

The pressurized and heated materials in hose A and B are kept separate until they make a chemical reaction when inside the spray foam gun. This gun should be properly attached to the material hoses and be equipped with the right tip for the applications you are doing. 

If you have executed everything properly thus far, the materials will mix in the gun at the right ratio, which is 1 to 1. If you’re the ratio is off, you will produce poor-quality spray foam and can even produce toxic chemical reactions!

Prevent Avoidable Problems

Running your proportioner well involves monitoring other surrounding components. Here are a few extra tips about operating your spray foam insulation machine for roofing.

  • Keep in mind that polyurethane foam operates at high pressures. Before you disconnect any components from the machine, you should always relieve the pressure to prevent injury. 
  • To maintain the correct pressure, use one gun per machine. Trying to make your proportioner do double duty can result in incorrect pressure and not having the right flow. 
  • Stay on top of your machine and do all the required maintenance and cleaning to keep it operable for as long as possible. 
  • Using a desiccant in the ISO drum can absorb some troublesome moisture and slow down the formation of crystals. You can also get a machine that alerts you or does automatic shut off when the drums get depleted to a certain level.

Shop for Spray Foam Roofing Machines at Intech

At Intech, we are happy to tell you that many machines from top brands like PMC have safety features to prevent pressure imbalance and improper temperatures.

To learn about these spray foam machines and the other products we carry, contact us today at Intech Equipment & Supply.