I am building a house in Central Texas (Caldwell). Several builders are cautious about using foam insulation and/or a closed attic. I would like to use both. Here in Texas, heat and humidity (except for the past few years of drought) are a continuing problem. Which type of foam would be the best to use in our home, where should the vapor barrier be or should be use one at all, if we are using fans in the exterior walls to supply fresh air to the house, do we need a vented attic or will it cause more problems than it solve? I have printed out your article and the blogs to give to my contractors and architect, but I would really appreciate your comments on the products being used in my part of the US. 

The long answer is more complicated. There are instances where ignition and thermal barriers are required, and others where they are not. It is all dependent on the location of the insulation. Additionally, the materials that satisfy the requirements of ignition and thermal barriers vary. In some circumstances, such as the use of an intumescent coating, an ignition or thermal barrier may not be necessary. It is important to check with your local code inspector to make sure that your use of spray foaminsulation and ignition barriers is correct.


Since our founding in 1973, Dal-Bac Manufacturing Co., Inc. has grown and expanded to become one of the premier providers of coating services to customers in a diverse range of industries. We are capable of applying both solvent and water-borne coatings to a wide variety of substrates, including fabrics, films, foams, and papers. Our capabilities include both knife-over-roll and Meyer rod coating methods for roll goods up to 61” in width. With our custom built equipment, we process materials accurately and cost-effectively.

Steve: If your spray foam installer leaves the vents open, he will be committing the 2nd of the 4 problems I described above. You will most likely have comfort and efficiency problems. You may well have condensation problems. You will be spending a lot of money on a product that likely won't perform as it should. Don't let him leave the vents open. If the installer you've chosen doesn't understand this, you may want to choose someone else. 
In plasma spraying process, the material to be deposited (feedstock) — typically as a powder, sometimes as a liquid,[2] suspension [3] or wire — is introduced into the plasma jet, emanating from a plasma torch. In the jet, where the temperature is on the order of 10,000 K, the material is melted and propelled towards a substrate. There, the molten droplets flatten, rapidly solidify and form a deposit. Commonly, the deposits remain adherent to the substrate as coatings; free-standing parts can also be produced by removing the substrate. There are a large number of technological parameters that influence the interaction of the particles with the plasma jet and the substrate and therefore the deposit properties. These parameters include feedstock type, plasma gas composition and flow rate, energy input, torch offset distance, substrate cooling, etc.
The atomization of molten materials produces a large amount of dust and fumes made up of very fine particles (ca. 80–95% of the particles by number <100 nm).[8] Proper extraction facilities are vital, not only for personal safety, but to minimize entrapment of re-frozen particles in the sprayed coatings. The use of respirators, fitted with suitable filters, is strongly recommended, where equipment cannot be isolated.[8] Certain materials offer specific known hazards:[6]
These are robust production capabilities, which allow us to consistently and reliably meet a broad range of coating requirements. Our technical managers ensure the substrate and coating are compatible and are the best possible materials for the job. We engineer our process to deliver a uniform coating in a precise layer from .001” to .005” in thickness. Insulation Spray Coating

Spray foam insulation, when properly installed is both an air barrier and when closed cell foam is used at the proper depth a vapor barrier!  Before hiring any contractor you should establish the brand of foam being used and verify that with the named manufacture.  Please ask for ESR reports and MSDS sheets on any foam being installed in your home. A couple areas where you might consider spray foam insulation include: Spray Coating Services
A rule of thumb puts two thirds of the coating on the substrate and one third in the air. True HVLP guns use 8–20 cfm (13.6–34 m3/h), and an industrial compressor with a minimum of 5 horsepower (3.7 kW) output is required. HVLP spray systems are used in the automotive, decorative, marine, architectural coating, furniture finishing, scenic painting, and cosmetic industries.
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Not only does Xtreme Powder Coating offer some of the most attractive metal finishing in Grand Prairie, TX, but we also make your metal décor and products more likely to last throughout the years. By finishing your metal with an Xtrenme powder coat, you are adding a durable layer of material to the surface that will help keep it together year after year. Powder coat is long lasting and resistant to scratches and stains, so you can be sure that your metal surfaces will stay looking their best throughout all those years. At Xtreme Powder Coating, we take extra care to ensure that our customers are well informed about the benefits that powder coating has to offer. Take a look at just a few of the reasons we’re considered to be a top metal finishing company in Grand Prairie, TX: Spray Coating

Closed-cell (aka two-pound foam) is denser than open-cell at about 2 pounds per cubic foot. Its R-Value is between 6-6.5 per inch. As a result, this kind of foam is much more expensive than its counterpart. The reason closed-cell doesn't need a vapor retarder is because it already has one. It's permeance is 0.8 perm, which means it can handle cold climates without the use of an additional board or drywall. Closed-cell uses hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) as part of its makeup. However, this material has been known to have a high global warming effect. If you want a green insulation solution, this is not the material to use. A way to avoid this and still use closed-cell is by installing it alongside fiberglass batts.
Plasma transferred wire arc (PTWA) is another form of wire arc spray which deposits a coating on the internal surface of a cylinder, or on the external surface of a part of any geometry. It is predominantly known for its use in coating the cylinder bores of an engine, enabling the use of Aluminum engine blocks without the need for heavy cast iron sleeves. A single conductive wire is used as "feedstock" for the system. A supersonic plasma jet melts the wire, atomizes it and propels it onto the substrate. The plasma jet is formed by a transferred arc between a non-consumable cathode and the type of a wire. After atomization, forced air transports the stream of molten droplets onto the bore wall. The particles flatten when they impinge on the surface of the substrate, due to the high kinetic energy. The particles rapidly solidify upon contact. The stacked particles make up a high wear resistant coating. The PTWA thermal spray process utilizes a single wire as the feedstock material. All conductive wires up to and including 0.0625" (1.6mm) can be used as feedstock material, including "cored" wires. PTWA can be used to apply a coating to the wear surface of engine or transmission components to replace a bushing or bearing. For example, using PTWA to coat the bearing surface of a connecting rod offers a number of benefits including reductions in weight, cost, friction potential, and stress in the connecting rod.
Legend Coatings and Insulation values the integrity of our work. We have extensive training when it comes to spray application. All of our applicators at Legend are trained and certified to industry standards. We do not stand alone when it comes to the building science behind our systems . We work hand in hand with Certified HVAC Contractors, Architects and Building Officials to combine our experience and expertise to find the best possible system to suite your needs and maximize your investment. Spray Coating

Whether or not an intumescent coating, or even a thermal or ignition barrier, is needed often depends on the type of spray foaminsulation that builders use. Many closed cell foam sprays are already sufficiently fire resistant and need no additional barriers. Ultimately, whether or not you need an ignition barrier or thermal barrier varies depending on location and materials. You should check with your local code official to ensure that your insulation work is up to code. Spray Coating

Vacuum plasma spraying (VPS) is a technology for etching and surface modification to create porous layers with high reproducibility and for cleaning and surface engineering of plastics, rubbers and natural fibers as well as for replacing CFCs for cleaning metal components. This surface engineering can improve properties such as frictional behavior, heat resistance, surface electrical conductivity, lubricity, cohesive strength of films, or dielectric constant, or it can make materials hydrophilic or hydrophobic.
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Some ceramic coatings feature additional properties, like preventing moisture migration. Some structures see up to 25 percent of HVAC costs coming from dehumidification needs, but a ceramic coating can also bring savings through moisture management. Additional features can include mold and mildew control, sound attenuation properties, and fire resistance. Spray Coating


once the foam is installed correctly, it is a inert plastic not much different than the foam cushions you sit on. there is not a health rick unless you have off ratio uncured foam that has not mixed properly. the foam is absolutely a health risk in its raw forms before it is mixed and cured. You should not be in the building without proper respirators and eye protection. The spray foam industry should be controlled and regulated by the same standards, testing and inspections that framing ,electrical and plumbing are. until that happens then you will have idiots with spray rigs ruining peoples homes and ruining the market for honest foam contractors that know how to price a job fairly and complete it correctly. Coating Services

When intumescent coatings are used with spray foaminsulation, they are specific to each insulation brand. You cannot use one intumescent coating with a brand that it was not intended for. If you do not use the properspray foaminsulation brand and intumescent coating combination, then your work will not technically be up to code. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that intumescent coating can only be used as an ignition barrier alternative if it is being used in an attic or crawl space. And, even then, it can only be used if space is not used for storage and is accessible through a small hatch or door.
The criterion for whether your crawl space or attic is occupied is often the size of the entrance. Entry to the crawl space or attic should be a small hatch or door, not a normal-sized door. Additionally, if you cannot get to whatever area you are insulating without cutting through a drywall layer, then you do not need to use an ignition barrier, because the drywall already serves the purpose of the thermal barrier.

With the increase in spray foaminsulation, many are wondering whether or not you should use a thermal or ignition barrier. Additionally, many are wondering if building codes require ignition or thermal barriers with spray foam insulation. The short answer is that you should use a thermal or ignition barrier, but the code may not necessarily require it. Building codes are often complicated, poorly written, poorly enforced, and up to interpretation by local code officials. This results in ambiguous requirements regarding spray foam insulation and fire protection.
Building code regulations typically call for the use of thermal barriers when spray polyurethane foam is installed. The code requires that the foam is separated from any living spaces by a layer of 1/2-inch drywall. As discussed earlier, any material that has been approved as being as equally fire resistant as the gypsum drywall can be substituted as a thermal barrier. Spray Coating
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