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OSH for operating polyurethane foam spray reactors.

OSH for Polyurethane Foam Spray.

Working with components of polyurethane foam.


Operating foam spray reactors and working with polyurethane components requires strict observation of the occupational safety and health regulations. Obeying below listed rules will save your and your coworkers health or life. OSH for operating polyurethane foam spray reactors must become priority for each person performing this work.


Principles of working with components of polyurethane foam spray.

Notice: Uncontrolled mixing of two components – ISO and POLY – can cause equipment damage, ravage of purchased spray materials and body injuries. To prevent accidental mixing of these two components you must always keep the wet parts separately and you must never mix POLY and ISO liquids.


Sensitivity of polyurethane foam components to moisture.

Isocyanates are catalysts used in bicomponent polyurethane foams. ISO reacts with moisture and that results in hard crystals formation which can cause machine damage. Initially, a thin layer of gel will purge on ISO and viscosity will increase. If this layer is not removed before spraying, it will reduce the machine’s efficiency and lifespan. The amount of gel and crystals produced depends on the amount of mixed ISO, temperature and humidity.


To protect ISO from moisture you must:

  • Always use hermetic containers for storing the polyurethane components.
  • Use only original containers for component storage. If you use wet container, ISO will crystallize very quickly. That will destroy the components and cause financial losses. Never storage ISO in the open container or when its opening is protected with foil.
  • Keep the tank pump immersed in the liquid – it can be hydraulic oil or other industrial oil. Liquid will create a barrier between the ISO and the atmosphere in the open container. Cover sensitive areas with grease.
  • Use special ISO hoses, resistant to humidity and chemicals.
  • Do not use solvent for ISO after POLY cleaning and vice versa.
  • After the use, cover the ISO pump parts with oil or grease.


Changing of the spraying materials:

  • When you change the spray material, sluice the system several times to be sure it is completely clean.
  • After sluicing always clean the meshes at the pump exit.
  • Check if the material is compatible with the liquid sprayed previously.
  • In most cases, ISO is marked with red and POLY with blue. Mark the hoses with the same colors or with signed descriptions. This will reduce the risk of confusion and mixing of the two components.


Hazards of Work with Polyurethane Foam Spray Reactors

There is a risk of an electric shock when operating the spray reactor. Incorrect grounding of the polyurethane spraying machine may damage the device and electrocute its operator. It is recommended that before each use, you test the power socket with the tester for three-phase sockets to detect any network connection malfunctions.

  • Cut off the power supply with the main switch before each machine survey, and open the door to the inertial of the polyurethane foam spray reactor.
  • Use only earthed power installation.
  • All connections of the reactor to the power supply have to be made by qualified electrician with appropriate permissions.


Toxic fluids or vapors can cause serious injuries if they get to your body.

  • Read specification of the spray liquid you use.
  • Store health hazardous liquids in special containers, in the temperatures appropriate for the substance, away from any source of fire. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use conditions.
  • Whenever you spray polyurethane, make sure the liquid components of polyurethane foam do not get into your body through the respiratory tract, digestive tract or damaged skin.


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

If you work with polyurethane foam spray devices you must use personal protective equipment each time you: perform the work, service the machine or stay in the area of spray. Observing the safety rules when spraying polyurethane foam will help you to avoid serious injuries, including eye injuries, poisoning, burns or hearing loss.

Obligatory PPE for the operator of the polyurethane foam spray reactor:

  • Special glasses or goggles for eye protection
  • Working suit for skin protection
  • Gas mask for air track protection
  • Gloves
  • Hearing protection


Risk of skin damage for polyurethane foam spray.

High pressure of the polyurethane foam components at the exit of the gun, any hose leaks or damaged containers for component transport can harm your skin and lead to infection. Do not underestimate any injury.

  • Close the inlet valves when you do not perform insulation spray.
  • Do not point the spray gun to your body or to anybody else around you.
  • Do not put your hand into the jet of the sprayed polyurethane.
  • Do not stop the leak of polyurethane foam components with your hands or with any other parts of your body.
  • Turn off the machine after you have finished operating it, surveying it or performing any maintenance actions.
  • Repair all connections of the spray reactor before work if you have noticed any, even minor, leaks.
  • Check the hoses and connectors of the spray reactor. Replace faulty or worn parts immediately.


Fire and explosion hazards.

Flammable fumes of paint and chemical materials can cause fire and explosion.

Preventing fire ignition and explosion:

  • Work only in well ventilated areas, free from unprotected sources of fire.
  • Eliminate all potential sources of fire.
  • Remove all unnecessary and fire hazardous objects from the spray area.
  • You mustn’t create sparks in the spray area.
  • Ground all equipment in the polyurethane foam spray area.
  • Always have functional fire extinguisher at the ready.


Foam expansion hazards.

The heating of components of polyurethane foam in limited spaces, such as hoses, can damage them. Maintaining increased pressure in the reactor can cause the equipment damages and injuries to the operator.

  • Open the safety valve during the heating of the components. This can alleviate the foam expansion during this process.
  • It is recommended to replace the hoses from time to time, depending on wear and work intensity.


Dangers of chemical reactions with aluminum.

Spraying with  substances not intended for contact with aluminum parts can cause chemical reactions that will damage machinery parts – it applies to all polyurethane foam spray devices, including reactors.

  • Do not use trichloroethane methylene chloride and other substances, such as halogenated hydrocarbons and solvents for the above substances.
  • There could be many more substances that should be not used with aluminum. Contact the supplier before the use to verify the spray material.


Hazards of improper use of the equipment.

Improper use of the polyurethane foam spray reactor can cause injuries and death.

  • Only trained operators can use this equipment.
  • Do not leave the machine when it is live or pressurized.
  • It is forbidden to operate this equipment under the influence of alcohol and/or narcotics.
  • Do not exceed the maximum pressure or temperature of PU foam components. Read the technical data of the foam spraying equipment. Learn the technical specification of fluids that you intend to spray. If in doubt, contact your supplier of chemicals. Every operator should know the safety and hygiene rules of work with polyurethane foam spray reactors.
  • Use only applicable substances for spraying.
  • Check the condition of the equipment before every use. Replace damaged and worn parts using only original replacements, or replacements with the same catalog number as the original part.
  • Do not modify the equipment.
  • Use the equipment only for its intended purpose.
  • Keep hoses and cables away from human passages, sharp edges, moving parts and hot surfaces.
  • Do not bend or twist the hoses, do not pull them to move your reactor.
  • Observe all the applicable safety regulations.


Hazards of movable components.

Movable components can cause minor or serious injuries, they can cut off your fingers or other patrs of your body.

  • Keep an appropriate distance from the movable components.
  • Do not work with machine if its movable components are not protected.
  • The device connected to the compressed air line can spontaneously turn on without warning. Before servicing, replacement or transportation of the polyurethane foam spray reactor, the air must be drained from it. Remember to disconnect the machine from the power supply.


Burn hazards.

The machine elements can become hot during spray. To avoid burns, do not touch hot fluid or any hot parts. If you want to perform any repairs or maintenance, wait until the machine has cooled down.


Important information of the spraying materials.

  • Safety rules of working with polyurethane foam spraying reactors also cover issues of working with foam components.
  • While spraying or mixing of two polyurethane foam components, we create harmful particles and vapors.
  • Read the substance descriptions in the manufacturer’s brochures to find out about all of the health hazards.
  • Prevent the inhalation of particles and vapors by ventilating the room. If it’s not possible to vent the room, it is recommended to equip the employee with a mask supplying fresh air from the outside.
  • To prevent contact with isocyanates, personal protective equipment (PPE) such as special gloves, shoes, suits and gas masks are required. Any person present in the spray area must wear a special mask to prevent the inhalation of gases formed during polyurethane foam spray.


Flammable materials.

Some flammable materials may have a low ignition temperature and therefore they may be fire hazardous. Please read the manufacturer’s information on the spray substance.




Facts and myths about polyurethane foam insulations.

Why Mr. John Smith from DIY Shop Will Advice Against Polyurethane Foam Insulation?

In building insulation technology polyurethane foam is unmatched. However in Poland there is still some distrust of this new insulation method. Customers are afraid of it, as they would be of any other thing they’d consider unknown and not properly tested. There’s nothing wrong with this attitude, people by principle are afraid of something they don’t know. However, this septic attitude is additionally escalated by construction teams and professionals from DIY stores, who persuade customers to choose mineral wool or other older generation insulation materials. Why would they advise you so? Because of their aim at helping their customers to profit from the choice? NO. They just want to sell their product and charge additionally you for application service. And on the other side of the conflict, you can find such greedy spray crews, that would offer and perform polyurethane foam spray, even when it’s not recommended. It all ads up and slows down foam insulation business in Poland.

Sanberg services of polyurethane foam spray are provided only after the accurate interview with potential customer,  followed by inspection of the spray area. We invite you to read our articles. We hope they’ll bring you closer to the new thermal insulation technology and allow you to make the right choice of insulation method.


Myth #1: Polyurethane foam is more expensive than mineral wool.

It can be both, the truth and the myth, depending on the perspective. If we look at the insulation as a the long-term solution, the conclusion is different than when only the short-time perspective is considered. In terms of costs, mineral wool’s sole advantage is the price of the purchase. But when the wool is already installed in your house, it will only generate losses from that moment on, as the insulation parameters get weaker every day.

If you decide for polyurethane foam instead, the savings will appear immediately, and will be generated not only in winter, but also during the summer. The insulation properties of foam are 100% better than those of mineral wool. In addition, foam does not loose its properties with time, and you receive 25 years manufacturer’s guaranty for the foam itself.


Myth #2: Foam will push the roof elements out, or will damage them.

This is a complete nonsense. Polyurethane foam expands only in the space where it is applied and enters only the spots where there is no resistance.


Myth #3: Mineral wool isolates heat better.

Polyurethane foam is twice as warm than mineral wool, when the thermal conductivity is compared. Thermal conductivity for polyurethane foam is 0,020 -0,025, and for mineral wool it is 0,035-0,050. The lower the thermal conductivity, the better insulation efficiency. This small investment in your house may pay off more quickly than you imagine. Foam reduces risk of fire and roof damage caused by high winds.”


Myth #4: Polyurethane foam is a market novelty.

Polyurethane foam has been known as insulation material for years – both in Poland and abroad. It wasn’t so popular, though, because the offer of foam spray reactors was limited and costly. Until recently, the price foam spray reactor was equal to the price of a good car. Sanberg company entered the market with our mid-range reactors and decent prices. The cost of our machines is 50% lower than the cost of comparable devices from other suppliers. The polyurethane foam spray technology comes from the USA and Canada, where it was used in the early 1980s. Severe weather conditions forced the application of more effective technological solutions for thermal insulation of buildings. In America, a large part of buildings has framing construction, usually wooden. Thin walls are well suited for isnulation with polyurethane, which applied in a 20cm thick layer protects effectively against severe frost.


Myth #5: You can live in the premises after polyurethane foam application.

Each type of polyurethane foam has its own fragrance, which can be smelled after spraying. It evaporates within 2-7 days, depending on the thickness of the layer that has been applied. Immediately after spray, bubbles are formed in the foam. They are filled with gas that is created during the POLY and ISO binding. The gas is replaced by clean air within few days. You can move into the sprayed preemies only after this period.


Myth #6:  Each type of polyurethane foam is applicable for your house insulation.

Depending on what is being insulated, the applicable type of polyurethane foam must be used. You must consider the density of foam per cubic meter. Foams with density of 7-12kg/m3 are used for thermal and acoustic insulations of attics, ceilings and partitions. Foams with a density of 30-37kg/m3 are used for thermal insulation of farms, floors of farm buildings, etc. Foams with density of 37-44 kg / m3 are used for thermal insulation of refrigerated buildings where products are stored at reduced temperatures. Foam with density of 45-56kg/m3 is used to insulate the roofs that can be walked on. The density of foam from 57-70 is used to insulate roofs, where pedestrian traffic is intense.


Myth #7: Insects, mice and marten will inhabit the foam.

I have never heard of insects inhabiting the polyurethane foam. Insects cannot hatch in the foam, because it is to hard to penetrate and give shelter. Rodents will not eat the polyurethane away, as it’s distasteful for them. Mouse can dig a hole near the foam but not inside it. Polyurethane foam insulation spray is not simple. Trust the advisers of Sanberg Poland.


Myth #8: Foam is flammable

Polyurethane foam is one the best insulation materials considering flammability. There are several confirmed cases in Poland that the attic secured with polyurethane foam kept the fire inside and prevented it from getting to the wooden structure before the arrival of the fire brigade. Of course, polyurethane foam will not resent the fire for a long time, but it is often long enough to call for the fire brigade and save your property.

You can watch the foam flammability tests on YouTube or read the test results on manufacturers’ websites. It is recommended to spray polyurethane foam of fire class E because of its self-extinguishing properties. Class E tells us that the foam is classified as combustible. The foam does not smolder,  drip or melt in contact with fire. Comparing polyurethane and mineral wool, polyurethane foam is the better option considering flammability.


Myth #9: Polyurethane foam has no flaws.

It’s a myth. Polyurethane foam has one flaw, important for many investors – cost of application service. Prices start form 48PLN/m2. Is it then worthwhile to invest in new technology? Of course it is. Assuming that the foam will bring us savings of 30-50% per year compared to other insulation methods, the investment will pay off after 18 months only.




Compressor and Power Generator for Polyurethane Foam Spray Reactor.

To perform the polyurethane foam spray, you will need not only the reactor, but also a compressor and, optionally, power generator. Let’s start with compressors.

For Sanberg Polyurethane Foam Spray Reactors SG-100, SG-200, SG-300, the air demand is 1000L/min. For hydraulic machines air demand is lower – 400L/min. When buying a compressor you need to consider how much space you can afford it to occupy, what your power supply is, and how much money you can spend. My experience shows that when two compressors are compared, sometimes the differences can be surprisingly big – so it’s better not to save time on choosing the perfect one for your purposes and capabilities. The most common for the polyurethane foam spray are piston compressors and screw compressors.


What Technical Parameters the Compressor for Polyurethane Foam Spray Should Have?

The tank is not the most important technical parameter to consider when choosing the foam reactor. What counts is the actual production of compressed air per minute. If the machine’s demand is 1000 l/min you have to think carefully on your choice. You must remember that the compressor can create problems with an overload protection – it may happen, that after we connect the compressor to the network or reactor, an overload protection will blow up at a start-up. Why does it happen? Well, the answer is very simple. At a start up each device consumes far more power than during normal operation. Compressor that normally uses 7,5kW, will use 14kW at a start-up. There are different ways to reduce the effect of a fast start-up, and one of them is the Softstart. This is a rather expensive solution, because it costs several hundred zloty, but it works.

The other solution, costly butt efficient, is the screw compressor with combustion drive. The power supply problem doesn’t occur for these compressors.

Our reviews.

Machines of which supplier does Sanberg recommend? We can’t actually give answer to that question, as the market’s offer is wide, and we do not favor any of the companies manufacturing compressors or power generators. The compressors we sell are produced by Walter Kompressortechnik. For our services we use a piston compressor Walter SG-1400 with 500L tank. This machine meets the air demand standards, but it has one drawback. It is large and noisy. After several seasons of working with this machine, I decided that if I were to buy another one, I would’ve spend more money for the screw compressor.


Power Generator for the Polyurethane Foam Spray Reactor.

The next device that you need is the power generator. If you want to have a power supply on the construction sites without a three-faze current, the 400V unit will be a good choice. However, while the power generator solves a lot problematic issues, it can cause troubles itself. So how to choose an appropriate generator to our foam reactor plus compressor set? It is actually quite simple, if we know exactly what we need and what we want to achieve with our device. If the generator is to supply power only to the reactor, than the 15kW unit will be sufficient. If it is to supply power for both reactor and compressor, than you need from 25kW to 30kW generator. Why did I write the power required in range, rather than in a defined number? Because you need to leave the power reserve for the reactor, so that it doesn’t work on it’s full power all the time, but rather on such power, that would not cause a dynamo burnt after a month.


How to Choose a Good Supplier of Polyurethane Foam Insulation. Typical Mistakes Made During the Polyurethane Foam Application

 How to choose a good supplier of polyurethane foam insulation.

Typical mistakes made during the polyurethane foam application.

House insulation guidance

A Good Supplier of the Polyurethane Foam Spray Insulation. Sanberg Europe.

Choose a reliable and solid supplier of the spray isolation. It will pay off in future.

Deciding which one of the companies offering polyurethane foam spray service to choose, people take a lot of things into consideration, above all the cost of spray per meter. But will the choice based on the price give you what you want? How will you know if the contractor is concerned not only about their profit and not really caring to perform the service properly? Foam spray seems easy, but from the point of someone from the inside, I know what things must be considered to make your investment profitable,  rather than being a waste of your hard earned money. Incorrect foam spray results in lack of proper insulation. Mistakes made during the foam choosing, can cause a failure of the whole project.

Serious mistakes made by investors and spray companies:

  • Choosing the foam from unknown suppliers. Such foams are often produced outside of Poland and their properties tend to be different than declared by the distributor. In some cases shelf life of the foam is 6 months. It’s important that the foam is fresh and not past its sale-by date. If the distributor imports the foam from, for example, China, then the transport itself often takes about 3 months. We don’t know how long the foam was stored before the spray. I have seen cases where the spray crew was tempted to buy cheep polyurethane foam and when the time for spray arrived, instead of the foam some strange, gelatinous substance fell out of the spray gun and it stiffened without expanding. Sanberg Company recommends Polish Polyurethane Foams, that are available at hand from the factory. I cannot name any specific company as it is not a sponsored article and it is not written to favor anybody.
  • No vapor-permeable film in the attic.
  • Spray of an inappropriate type of foam, i.e application of closed cell foam in areas, where the open-cell foam applies, and other way around.
  • It often happens, that the customer decides for the expensive foam, technical parameters of which are slightly better then those of cheaper foams. Numbers used in the catalogs to specify those parameters, are the numbers supported by the laboratory tests. Often company data on foam parameters do not coincide with what we actually receive. It’s like with a car catalog data. The manufacturer writes that the fuel consumption is 6l/100km, and in fact the car uses 8l/100km.
  • Spraying foam on the leaking roofs. Foam is designed for thermal insulation, not for patching holes in the roof.
  • Wrong settings of the polyurethane foam spray reactor and incorrect temperature of the foam. Inaccurate proportions of ingredients can also contribute to improper spray. The foam may become brittle and fragile. Such isolation will not do its job.

A good Polyurethane Foam Spray Company. Saving on the spray company does not pay off.

  • Company makes savings on the sprayed material. I often observe that the spray company does not cover the rafters with foam. If it’s possible, the wooden elements of the roof should be covered with foam as well. Wood can also let the cold inside.
  • Cutting off the foam close to the rafter, when it’s not necessary. If the plasterboards are on the rack, it’s not necessary to cut off the surplus of the foam. The coating forms on the surface of the sprayed foam and it is an additional protection from heat and moisture.
  • Spraying the foam on the dirty surface. Spraying crews are very busy during the construction season, as it is limited and doesn’t last the whole year. Unqualified team, due to the lack of time, will not clean the sprayed area from dust, dirt, rust, splotches of oil or of other petroleum derivatives. Foam sprayed on such surfaces will come unstuck with time. A good polyurethane foam spray company will never perform the service if there are no appropriate conditions.
  • If the air temperature is too low, polyurethane should not be sprayed. Foam must not be sprayed also on the surfaces covered with frost or ice. The market offers so-called winter polyurethane foams that are applicable for the spray in temperatures reaching up to 0C. Pseudoexpert can persuade the client to spray the inappropriate foam during the winter, but it is not a good choice.
  • It’s not advisable to apply polyurethane foam when the air moisture is high.
  • Spraying the foam on restricted items, such as electrical and splitter boxes or light elements. For a very important reason the appropriate distance from the light sources must always be kept. Bulbs and other light sources generate heat that with prolonged illumination can accumulate and cause overheating of the light elements in the lamps, and damage them. A Good Polyurethane Foam Spray Company employs professionals who will not let any element of the job to be done inappropriately, and will make sure to provide the perfect service with regard to each important detail.


If you have any doubts regarding the polyurethane insulation, you can always contact with the producer or distributor of the polyurethane foam to clarify all you concerns.


Which Polyurethane Foam Spray Reactor to Choose Without Spending a Fortune

What Polyurethane Foam spray reactor to choose without spending a fortune

Foam Spray Machine. Which one to choose?

Every businessman who wants to start providing the polyurethane foam spray services asks himself that question. Choice of the polyurethane foam spray reactor is very important, as the prices for these machines range from tens of thousands to even hundreds of thousands. If you make the wrong choice, you may have to bear large costs of exploatation and servicing, which may turn to be a significant part of the overall profit from the spray services that you’ll manage to make. So what to choose? The answer is very simple, like the machine that is supposed to perform the work for your company. The best are the machines built with standardized parts, which are available in the Sanberg shop. The parts must be standardized and in metrical sizes. Such parts are cheap and easily accessible. Most of the elements of the polyurethane foam spray machines can be ordered from abroad. However the transport costs can sometimes exceed the price of the part itself. Spare parts available in our shop are cheaper than those from abroad. Why to bear the unnecessary costs?

You spend your hard earned money. Do it well, and they will come back to you.

Buying the polyurethane foam spray machine is like buying a car. At the very beginning we choose the exclusive brand, but then we check the price of the car and of its parts and our choice turns towards the car that can be repaired cheaply with parts available in our local store. If we just want to have a vehicle to drive us around and be cheap, we will choose a mid-shelf car. That is the range of products represented by Sanberg for the polyurethane foam spray machine branch. Some people will choose the exclusive machine, but often without realizing the costs it will generate in future.

Why us?

Sanberg polyurethane foam spray reactors are the alternative for the expensive machines, as our products are available in decent prices and are affordable for any company. They are dispatched from Poland within and hour from the order. The package with parts is delivered to the customer in 24 hours. We have 90% of all our machines’ spare parts on stock. What speaks in favor of choosing the Sanberg machines? The price for our devices is one of the lowest on the market considering this type of machinery, and low costs pay off quickly. Also the prices for the spare pats are no burden to any company’s budget and that increases profits even more. Our machine will pay off in short time and that seems to be the point of any business investment, isn’t it? Sanberg stands for the best mid-range polyurethane foam spray reactors.