Selecting the Proper Spray Foam Equipment
Selecting the proper spray foam equipment can be overwhelming since there are many makes and models available to the industry today.
With many years of experience in the spray foam and coatings industry, Paratus Supply chooses to only distribute Graco spray foam equipment. We choose Graco because they are the only company that provides a sound and reliable product, standing the test of time. Graco was established in 1926 and has been developing state of the art technology 81 years longer than their closest competitor in the spray foam and coatings industry today. Graco’s parts and services are available all around the globe and are made in the USA.
Our spray foam contractors rely on equipment that operates correctly on every job site. Starting a business with spray foam equipment that is cheap and always has issues will lead to a bad reputation, and ultimately end in a poor reputation and a lost investment.
Investing in the proper quality Graco spray foam equipment will assure that no matter the task you are planning to tackle, the job will be done in a productive and profitable manner. Leaving behind a quality product for your client, and building a great reputation.
Spray foam equipment packages are made up of two transfer pumps, A-Side (ISO) and B-Side (resin). Transfer pumps move each material stored in 55 Gallon Drums to a Proportioner or (Reactor). The Proportioner heats the materials to the desired temperature and pressurizes the material in the Heated Hose. The material is then mixed in a Mixing Chamber located inside the Spray Foam Gun. The two materials A&B will meet for the first time in the mixing chamber. The most common spray foam gun used today is an Air Purge. Air Purge Guns use compressed air to purge out any residual material in the Mixing Chamber to prevent the chamber from clogging.
There are three main types of Proportioners
- Air Powered Spray Foam Machines use approx. (30 CFM) in combination with transfer pumps and gun, around 43 CFM of air. With such a large demand of air and low output, it does not make much sense to purchase these machines because a good quality compressor to run this equipment will be costly for less performance than the other two options listed below.
- Electric Powered Spray Foam Machines use an electric motor to drive a gear box which moves the vertical displacement pumps used to pressurize the spray foam material. Electric machines have been made very popular by Graco and are the most common proportioner sold today. Electric machines can produce 10 to 30 Lbs. per minute depending on the machine that is selected. Electric Machines are simple and easier to work on, making them the choice machine for many. Great for low to High Volume Spray Foam and Polyurea Coatings applications.
- Hydraulic Powered Spray Foam Machines use an electric motor to drive a Hydraulic Pump System. Hydraulic Pump can produce a higher pressure and are preferred in large volume applications like spray foam roofing and large open application areas.
Spray foam transfer pumps come in two main ratios. 2:1 and 2.25:1. The 2:1 Pumps or Graco T1 Transfer Pumps are used in combination with lower output machines than the 2.25:1.
Supply lines should be one hose with no breaks to avoid buildup of the A-side or Iso material in the lines.
Recirculation lines are lines that run from the proportioner back to the drums. This is used to bleed off pressure from the machine and keeps the process neat, without wasting material. Recirculation is also used to heat the material in the drums which are often in open cell spray foam applications.
Spray Foam Heated Hose
Spray foam hose is sold most commonly in 50 sections with a 10 foot whip. The whip makes the hose more flexible, in return making it easier for the applicator to control the gun. The whip is also the part of the hose which takes the most abuse and thus less expensive to replace if it wears out instead of replacing a full 50-foot section. Spray foam hose should be heated to maintain the desired temperature suggested by the material supplier. Located 60 foot back from the gun is located the fluid temperature sensor. This sensor takes the material temperature in the hose and sends it back to the proportioner so the machine knows how much current to send through the hose to maintain the fluid temperature. The actual temperature can be read from the machines display board or module.
Spray Foam Guns come in three selections.
Air Purge spray foam guns are most common in the spray foam industry. They use a continuous stream of air to purge the mixing chamber of any left behind material preventing the gun from clogging.
Manual Purge spray foam guns use an impingement to push out the material left behind. Manual Purge guns are often used in poly jacking or concrete lifting. Manual Purge helps to prevent back pressure during this type of application.
Liquid Purge spray foam guns use a liquid that is injected into the chamber to help keep the gun from clogging. These guns have grown in popularity in the last few years but are more complex than the Air Purge.
It is extremely important to keep your spray foam gun clean and lubricated to assure it will work properly when in use. Always inspect the gun before use to avoid chemical crossovers.