Closed-cell polyurethane spray foam is among the most efficient insulating materials commercially available, with R-values commonly around 6.0 per inch. Closed-cell polyurethane foam insulation incorporates an insulating gas that is retained within the cells (foam "blowing agent"), which leads to the highly efficient insulating properties of the material. In the U.S., insulation is measured in "R-Value" (R= resistance to heat flow), and closed-cell polyurethane spray foam has among the highest R-Values of any commercially available insulation. In addition, the closed-cell polyurethane spray foam insulation provides for a highly effective air barrier, low moisture vapor permeability (often referred to as the "Perm" rating), and excellent resistance to water. The most common foam density for closed-cell polyurethane foam is approximately 2.0 pounds per cubic foot. Years of research and commercial experience has shown that the 1.75 – 2.25 lb/ft³ density range provides the optimum insulating and strength characteristics for most building applications. Closed-cell polyurethane foams are usually characterized by their rigidity and strength, in addition to the high R-Value. Also, studies show that wall racking strength can by doubled or tripled when closed cell foam is applied.
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