Making Sense of Closed-cell and Open-cell Insulation

Making Sense of Closed-cell and Open-cell Insulation

Originally posted in Modern Contractor Solutions Magazine

026When choosing foam insulations, you’re likely to see manufacturers describe their product as either “closed-cell” or “open-cell”, but what does that mean and why does it matter to you?


Foam insulations come in two broad types:  spray foams and rigid foams.

Spray foam insulation is created on the jobsite by mixing two chemical compounds that react and foam up to fill voids and provide an insulating layer.  By contrast, rigid foam insulations are created in a factory and arrive at the jobsite in panel form that provides a thermal barrier.  Rigid foam insulations come in numerous product configurations, including faced and un-faced panels.

Rigid foam panels are all closed-cell, while spray foams are either closed- or open-cell, depending on the product.  See the chart in the full article for the major foam insulations.

Continue reading in Modern Contractor Solutions Magazine to look under the microscope on closed and open-cell insulations and learn about their thermal performance and stability.