Polyurethane Vs. Icynene Foam


Spray foam insulation is used to reduce thermal and sound transfer levels between the interior and exterior areas of a building. It can keep the building more comfortable, reduce energy consumption and help to lower heating and cooling costs. Spray foam has traditionally been made from polyurethane, though new products like Icynene can provide similar benefits.


  • Icynene is available as a sprayed or poured foam. Sprayed Icynene is very dense, and is installed in layers into new wall cavities. Poured foam is used in existing walls, where it is installed through tiny holes drilled in the drywall or masonry surface. Polyurethane spray can be used in either of these applications, though nets or forms may be required to hold it in place in a new wall.


  • Polyurethane is a close cell foam product made from petroleum by-products. The closed cells are filled with HCFC or CFC gases to improve the insulating properties of the foam. Green versions are made from soy, and contain lower levels of these gases.

    Icynene is made of castor oil rather than petroleum and features an open cell construction. No gases are present, which reduces the insulating ability of Icynene compared to polyurethane.


  • When comparing different insulation products, it's important to understand the R-value of each material. R-value is a measure of thermal resistance, with higher R-values linked to more effective types of insulation. According to Energy Savers polyurethane foam has an R-value between 7 and 8 per inch. Icynene.com states that the R-value of Icynene ranges from 3.6 to 4. These values indicate that polyurethane is roughly twice as effective as Icynene when it comes to thermal insulation.


  • Icynene's primary benefit is its eco-friendly features, including the fact that no petroleum or CFCs are used in its production. This product is also highly resistant to fire and won't lose its effectiveness over time.

    Polyurethane is a very effective insulator and is also resistant to fire. It expands slowly to fill a space without over-expanding, which helps prevent possible damage to the structure.


  • The gases within polyurethane foam insulation tend to escape over time, which can reduce the R-value of this material. These gases are also hazardous to the environment and are associated with ozone depletion.

    Icynene is a fairly new product and is more expensive than polyurethane. It can sometimes over-expand and overfill a space, which can cause damage or messy cleanup. It creates such an airtight insulation that it can reduce natural ventilation in the home, making well-designed mechanical ventilation a necessity.


  • Photo Credit Giles Douglas/Flickr.com
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • Problems With Icynene Home Insulation

    Icynene is a soft spray foam insulation thought to be a move toward greener living. This insulation has the Energy Star label...

  • Brands of Spray Foam Insulation

    Icynene is one of the leading brands of spray foam insulation. ... This includes any foam insulation product, including polyurethane, Icynene and...

  • Polyurethane Vs. Latex Foam Mattress

    Polyurethane Vs. Icynene Foam. Spray foam insulation is used to reduce thermal and sound transfer levels between the interior and exterior areas...

  • Spray Foam Insulation Problems

    Problems With Icynene Foam Insulation. Building insulation improves its energy efficiency and comfort by maintaining an optimal temperature within the structure ...

  • How Thick Is R13 Insulation?

    The US Environmental Protection Agency recommends floor insulation values of R13 to R19 in warm parts of the United States where winter...

  • Cellulose Vs. Polyurethane Foam Insulation

    The use of insulating foam is growing in popularity owing to its ease of installation in pitched and cathedral roofs as well...

  • Spray Foam Insulation Vs. Fiberglass Insulation

    Price Comparison: Spray Foam vs. Fiberglass Insulation; How a Spray Foam Insulation System Works; Comments You May Also Like. Cellulose vs. Spray...

Related Searches

Read Article

Make an Ikea Lack Table Look Expensive With This Cheap Hack

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!