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The History of Spray Foam Insulation

The History of Spray Foam Insulation

Ever since the 1980s, spray foam has been commonly used as an insulation material. However, polyurethane foam was created and widely implemented in various applications long before it became the beloved insulation material it is commonly known for today. This brief history of spray foam insulation will help you develop a better understanding of the foam used to effectively insulate numerous homes across the world.

The Invention of Polyurethane Foam

The origins of polyurethane foam—which is currently used as spray foam—can be traced back to a German industrial chemist named Otto Bayer who began working with polyurethane in the late 1930s. By the early 1940s, the technology that he developed was brought to the United States by the president of a war effort conglomerate of two chemical industry giants called Mobay. In its early days, the polyurethane was developed and used in military and aviation applications.

Home Insulation Application

In 1953, the invention of the “Blendometer” by Walter Baughman allowed polyurethane to be used in home insulation applications. The Blendometer was a type of machine that was designed to blend various components of chemicals and create a plastic elastomer or expanding foam which is now commonly used in home insulation. The invention required the user to manually tilt the trays of chemicals to mix the foam and was a fairly inefficient and expensive process. As such, the machine would have to undergo several innovations and advancements before spray foam became widely used in home insulation applications.

Widespread Use of Spray Foam Insulation

Advancements in spray foam production such as the first dedicated spray foam machine which was made by Fred Gusmer in 1963 and the development of the spray foam nozzle made spray foam insulation more efficient and affordable.

The increased ease of installation coupled with the energy crisis in the 1970s caused spray foam insulation—a highly energy-efficient insulation material—to skyrocket in popularity. By the 1980s, spray foam was one of the most popular insulation materials used in homes. Today, spray foam insulation maintains its popularity due to its many beneficial qualities, such as its high R-value, moisture resistance, durability, and longevity.

If you’re interested in installing closed- or open-cell spray foam insulation in your home, Paragon Protection can help. As a leading spray foam insulation company in Chicago, you can trust us to get the job done right. For more information regarding our services, contact us today.

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