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The second type of barrier that prevents insulation from catching fire is called the ignition barrier. Ignition barriers are a lower standard to meet than a thermal barrier. Additionally, several different materials can meet the definition of an ignition barrier. Now that we have established the code jargon for spray foam barriers, we can look at each type in detail.

Allison--would be very interested in your take on the GHG issues of foams, which have received lots of smart commentary recently. To highlight a few: architect Jesse Thompson's comments on Tom's Good vs Bad post on Energy Circle, the very thorough piece by Alex Wilson on Green Building Advisor and Michael Anschel's cautionary diatribe on Remodeling. 
Formerly known as MetoKote, The Crown Group and Electra Finish (EFI), PPG’s coatings services applies coatings to customers’ manufactured parts and assembled products. It operates on-site coatings services within several customer manufacturing locations, as well as at regional service centers, located throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Germany, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Customers ship parts to PPG service centers, where they are treated to enhance paint adhesion and painted with electrocoat, powder or liquid coatings technologies. Coated parts are then shipped to the customer’s next stage of assembly. PPG coats an average of more than 1.5 million parts per day.

What do you mean by "our AC units require fresh air ventilation"? Fresh air doesn't come from the attic. If there's an atmospheric combustion appliance in the attic, such as an 80 AFUE furnace, then you shouldn't be encapsulating the attic anyway. If that's the case, you don't want spray foam on the roofline at all. You can either change out the furnace to a sealed combustion unit or do your insulating and air-sealing at the flat-ceiling level. Spray Coating
By heating the full-bodied paint to 60-80 °C, it is possible to apply a thicker coat. Originally the paint was recirculated, but as this caused bodying up, the system was changed to direct heating on line. Hot spraying was also used with Airless and Electrostatic Airless to decrease bounce-back. Two pack materials usually had premix before tip systems using dual pumps.
Jennifer, I'm not an expert on the health effects of closed cell foam. A lot of people live in houses with closed cell foam and have no health problems from it, at least not short-term, acute problems. I do know of one person who had it removed from her crawl space because she was convinced it caused her dog to get sick, but I know only what she told me.  
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. Coating Services

I've seen this only once, and it was with closed cell foam, but I've heard of it happening with open cell foam, too. I don't know the details, but I've heard it could result from a bad batch of chemicals, improper mixing, or too high a temperature. Whatever the cause, it's not a good thing. The photo below shows how the spray foam pulled away from the studs. A little bit of uninsulated area like that adds up to a lot of heat loss/gain when the whole house has that problem, as it did here. Coating Services


Open cell spray foams are less common and have a lower resistance to heat flow than closed cell spray does. Open cell spray foaminsulation expands when it is applied, which allows it to be installed in hard to reach areas, such as small wall and ceiling cavities. Open-cell spray foam is typically cheaper than closed cell foam is, but it is more permeable and vulnerable to fire hazards.
This technique is mostly used to produce coatings on structural materials. Such coatings provide protection against high temperatures (for example thermal barrier coatings for exhaust heat management), corrosion, erosion, wear; they can also change the appearance, electrical or tribological properties of the surface, replace worn material, etc. When sprayed on substrates of various shapes and removed, free-standing parts in the form of plates, tubes, shells, etc. can be produced. It can also be used for powder processing (spheroidization, homogenization, modification of chemistry, etc.). In this case, the substrate for deposition is absent and the particles solidify during flight or in a controlled environment (e.g., water). This technique with variation may also be used to create porous structures, suitable for bone ingrowth, as a coating for medical implants. A polymer dispersion aerosol can be injected into the plasma discharge in order to create a grafting of this polymer on to a substrate surface.[3] This application is mainly used to modify the surface chemistry of polymers.

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. 
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
The standard prescriptive material that can be used as a thermal barrier is 1/2" gypsum board (a.k.a. drywall or sheetrock). Anything else has to be approved as an 'equivalent thermal barrier' by undergoing tests for temperature transmission and fire integrity. In some cases, however, you need only one test. According to the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA), "Under specific conditions, the temperature transmission test can be waived if approved by building code authorities on the basis of large-scale fire testing representing actual uses." (See their pdf document, Thermal and Ignition Barriers For The SPF Industry.) Spray Coating Services
The average price to cover 200 square feet with a foam insulation kit will run between $300 and $600 (about two to three kits). Inside these kits is something called Icynene, a foam made from two liquids that are heated and pushed through a gun on the can. When Icynene is released, it expands up to 100 times its size as it hits the surface area you're covering. These can contain a lot of gasses, making its installation a dangerous process. Even low-pressure sprayers can be harmful to homeowners' health.
Thermal barriers come in the form of 1/2-inch gypsum drywall or any material that is proven to have an equal fire resistance to gypsum wallboard. Additionally, alternate assemblies can be used if they have been tested in a laboratory and approved. Ignition barriers are a lower standard to meet, and can be satisfied with a number of different materials. Like thermal barriers, they can be substituted with equivalent fire resistant materials and alternate assemblies, such as an intumescent coating. Coating Services
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Plasmas affect materials at an atomic level. Techniques like X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy are used for surface analysis to identify the processes required and to judge their effects. As a simple indication of surface energy, and hence adhesion or wettability, often a water droplet contact angle test is used. The lower the contact angle, the higher the surface energy and more hydrophilic the material is.
High volume low pressure (HVLP) is similar to a conventional spray gun using a compressor to supply the air, but the spray gun itself requires a lower pressure (LP). A higher volume (HV) of air is used to aerosolise and propel the paint at lower air pressure. The result is a higher proportion of paint reaching the target surface with reduced overspray, materials consumption, and air pollution. A regulator is often required so that the air pressure from a conventional compressor can be lowered for the HVLP spray gun. Alternatively a turbine unit (commonly containing a vacuum cleaner derived motor) can be used to propel the air without the need for an air line running to the compressor. Coating Services

The standard prescriptive material that can be used as a thermal barrier is 1/2" gypsum board (a.k.a. drywall or sheetrock). Anything else has to be approved as an 'equivalent thermal barrier' by undergoing tests for temperature transmission and fire integrity. In some cases, however, you need only one test. According to the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA), "Under specific conditions, the temperature transmission test can be waived if approved by building code authorities on the basis of large-scale fire testing representing actual uses." (See their pdf document, Thermal and Ignition Barriers For The SPF Industry.)
Spray painting is a painting technique where a device sprays a coating (paint, ink, varnish, etc.) through the air onto a surface. The most common types employ compressed gas—usually air—to atomize and direct the paint particles. Spray guns evolved from airbrushes, and the two are usually distinguished by their size and the size of the spray pattern they produce. Airbrushes are hand-held and used instead of a brush for detailed work such as photo retouching, painting nails or fine art. Air gun spraying uses equipment that is generally larger. It is typically used for covering large surfaces with an even coating of liquid. Spray guns can be either automated or hand-held and have interchangeable heads to allow for different spray patterns. Single color aerosol paint cans are portable and easy to store.
That’s $58.3 Billion dollars. That’s roughly how much money we wasted in 2010 in the US according to the Department of Energy because of air leaking out of our building envelopes. If your building leaks energy, you’re paying more for energy than you need to. Clearly you’re not alone. If you’re ready to claim your share of the savings, it’s quicker and easier than you think. Coating Services
These operate connected to a high pressure pump commonly found using 300 to 7,500 pounds per square inch (2,100–51,700 kPa) pressure to atomize the coating, using different tip sizes to achieve desired atomization and spray pattern size. This type of system is used by contract painters to paint heavy duty industrial, chemical and marine coatings and linings. Spray Coating
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