Standard Active Last Updated: Jan 11, 2019
ASTM D7859-19

Standard Practice for Spraying, Sampling, Packaging, and Test Specimen Preparation of Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Insulation for Testing of Emissions Using Environmental Chambers

Significance and Use

5.1 Manufacturers of SPF insulation may need to test their products for vapor-phase emissions of volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds in order to comply with voluntary standards, purchase specifications, or other requirements.

5.2 Since SPF insulation is formed by chemical reaction when combining a two-component mixture during spraying, specialized equipment and procedures are needed to reproducibly create representative samples suitable for emission testing.

5.3 SPF insulation product manufacturer’s specifications and instructions must be followed carefully and detailed information regarding the spraying process must be recorded (see 7.3). Other precautions regarding handling and shipping are needed to ensure that the chemical integrity of the samples is preserved to the extent possible by practical means (see 7.5).

5.4 Laboratories must prepare representative test specimens from samples of SPF insulation in a consistent manner so that emission tests can be reproduced and reliable comparisons can be made between test data for different samples.


1.1 This practice describes standardized procedures for the preparation, spraying, packaging, and shipping of fresh spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation product samples to be tested for their emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs). These procedures are applicable to both closed-cell and open-cell SPF insulation products. Potential chemical emissions of interest include blowing agents, solvents, aldehydes, amine catalysts, diisocyanates, and flame retardants.

1.2 Typically, SPF insulation samples are prepared at one location, such as a chemical manufacturing facility or a field product installation site. The newly prepared samples are preserved in a sealed bag, placed in a secondary container, and then shipped to a laboratory for testing.

1.3 The spraying of SPF insulation products is only to be performed by trained individuals using professional spraying equipment under controlled conditions. The details of the spraying equipment and spraying procedures are based on industry practice and are outside of the scope of this practice.

1.4 This practice also describes procedures for the laboratory preparation of test specimens from open-cell and closed-cell SPF insulation product samples. These specimens are prepared for testing in small-scale chambers following Guide D5116 and in micro-scale chambers that are described in Test Method D8142.

1.5 Procedures for VOC and SVOC emission testing, gas sample collection and chemical analysis are outside of the scope of this practice. Such procedures will need to address the potential for emissions of some SVOCs, for example, amine catalysts, flame retardant and isocyanates, to adhere to the chamber walls.

1.6 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.7 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.8 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 11.07
Developed by Subcommittee: D22.05
Pages: 5
DOI: 10.1520/D7859-19
ICS Code: 91.100.60