It is in our name and you hear us mention it in videos, on social media, and in other blog posts, but you may be asking yourself, “What is Polyfoam?” Keep reading for an education on all things “Polyfoam”.
At Its Core
Polyfoam does not start off as the “foam” you see in our pictures and videos. At its core, “foam” is a polyurethane polymer. The foam you see is the result of a reaction between the isocyanate (Part A), polyol (Part B), and/or water. The repair application will dictate whether you use an expanding polyurethane polymer (2 Parts) or a permeation polyurethane polymer (single component).
Expanding Polyurethane – Plural Component
Expanding polyurethane is made up of the two components listed above. At the time of a repair, each respective part is pumped via air pressure to the injection site, where they are
automatically mixed and the expansion process starts. Depending on the material and the repair plan, the expansion rate could be up to 35x the original state of the
polyurethane resin and reaction time is as fast as 15 seconds. This is a closed cell foam and it is light in weight but high in strength, meaning you get maximum support with minimum soil stress. The strength of this foam is found in its expansive properties.
Permeation Polyurethane – Single Component
As its name suggests, our single component polyurethane resin is used for permeation grouting. This means the material actually infuses the treated area to combine with the materials already present in the soil, causing less soil disruption. Unlike its sister product, expanding foam, this single component does not produce a high expansion,
structural foam. Instead, its strength comes from the permeation reaction taking place under the soil. Our single component resin has hydrophobic properties meaning it will drive moisture out of the soil, fill all voids or water paths, and combine with soil properties to create a solid, water impermeable barrier. Once reaction is complete, the material will not shrink or swell.
All of our materials are NSF61-5 certified; safe for contact with drinking water .
Hopefully, this gives you a little more insight on Polyfoam. Both expanding and permeating polyurethane resins thrive in their respective repair environments and they are often times used together to reach a repair goal. The key is knowing when to use which “foam”. Contact Helms Polyfoam for a professional site evaluation and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for pictures and videos of foam in action.