SPF and cPVC Pipes and Fittings

Spray Polyurethane Foam and cPVC Pipes and Fittings- Research Project Update

In January 2009, the building construction community questioned the compatibility between spray polyurethane foams and pipes and fittings made with cPVC.  It is important to note we are not aware of any cPVC failure that was a result of a chemical incompatibility with properly applied SPF.  Two studies have been recently completed that address these questions.  The first study, sponsored by SPFA and Lubrizol, a leading supplier of cPVC resins, evaluated the chemical compatibility and simple thermal compatibility on unpressurized pipe and fittings between a wide range of SPF products (low density, medium density, and one component foam) and cPVC products made with Lubrizol resins.  This comprehensive testing program demonstrated that no environmental stress cracking of the cPVC is caused by the SPF products tested.  A copy of the technical paper, Industry Study of Compatibility of Spray Polyurethane Foam with CPVC -Part II v2, can be downloaded here.  In addition, a summary statement on the results of this chemical compatibility research from Mr. Jim Paschal, a PVC pipe technical expert, can also be downloaded here

The second separate study, performed in cooperation with Lubrizol and a SPFA member foam supplier, evaluated more extensively the effects of exothermic temperatures from both low-density (LD) and medium-density (MD) when applied to a variety of cPVC pipe diameters and thicknesses.  This study shows that exothermic heating of pressurized cPVC pipes should not be an issue if this suppliers LD foam is applied at 6” or less per pass, and MD foam is applied at 2” or less per pass over any Lubrizol cPVC pipe or fitting product.  In addition, this exotherm study has provided a simple test method for foam suppliers to evaluate individual products for exotherm compatibility.  Lubrizol issued a statement on the Lubrizol website in regard to the outcomes of both projects.

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SPFA believes that the path to a healthful, safe, high-quality and performing SPF installation travels through the hands of a knowledgeable, trained, experienced, and ideally PCP-certified professional contractor.