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The History of Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation as we know it today was first developed by Otto Bayer in the 1940s. Through a series of improvements and reformulations, it slowly evolved into the home insulating product that we know today as spray foam insulation. The final rendition appeared in the 1980s and has slowly gained popularity amongst homeowners.

The insulation’s founder, Otto Bayer was an industrial chemist. He began working with the foam in Germany, but his technology was brought to the U.S. in the 1940s by a man named David Eynon. Eynon was the president of Mobay, a company focusing on the war effort.

During the 1940s, spray foam insulation was used in military applications. It was used during the production of war machines and other products made of high-grade plastic polymers.

In the 1950s polyurethane became a candidate for home insulation. The Blendometer was also invented during this time. The machine allowed for expansion of polyurethane in the home realm. The Blendometer is the original machine designed to mix components of the spray foam. It was invented in 1953 by Walter Baughman. The Blendometer allowed for the creation of a special type of plastic elastomer, or expanding foam. The foam was liquid when applied, but soon began to expand and harden.

However, the Blendometer was still partially manual. Humans had to tilt the trays of chemicals to mix the foam in the machine. The technology was still in its infancy and a number of factors prevented it from being used as a widespread residential insulation material.

Spray foam insulation then found its way into a variety of uses in the following decades. Advances in the auto industry made the material particularly popular. It would still take nearly 2 decades for it to be widely used in the home insulation process.

In 1963, an inventor by the name of Fred Gusmer decided to expand on Baughman’s original Blendometer. Technological advances made it easier to use the spray foam in homes. It also made the equipment needed to install it easier to access and far more affordable. This is also the time that the concept of a super-insulated home emerged. The energy crisis of the 1970s prompted home builders to find ways to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. It was then that the foundation for modern spray foam equipment was laid.

An advanced spray nozzle that allowed spray foam insulation to be used easily in the construction process made the chemical insulation more popular. The nozzle allows the liquids to mix just before being sprayed to prevent it from expanding too quickly. The foam is sprayed on as a liquid, but it quickly expands and hardens.

Though the delivery process has change a lot through the years, the basic product has not. Spray foam insulation is now a great choice for homeowners looking to increase their insulation and reduce air leakage. It is a requirement in areas that are prone to hurricanes or earthquakes as it improve structural integrity. You can order DIY kits online or at your local home improvement store. Contractors specializing in installing spray foam insulation are also available to help make the process easier.

Now you know a bit about the history of spray foam insulation