SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 22 February 2017

Computer Simulation of Peak Temperatures in Spray Polyurethane Foam Used in Residential Insulation Applications


Test methods to measure emissions of specific chemical compounds for spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation are currently under development within the ASTM D22.05 Subcommittee on Indoor Air. Although most of this work has focused on small chamber emissions testing at room temperatures, supplemental emissions testing at elevated temperatures of 40°C (104°F) and 65°C (150°F) are being considered. The applicability of these elevated temperatures needs to be determined based on in situ temperatures experienced by SPF. In lieu of costly, time-consuming field measurements of SPF temperatures, this work used a one-dimensional transient dynamic numerical simulation to estimate SPF temperatures. This simulation was conducted over a 1 year period at hourly increments for SPF installed in wall and roof assemblies located in Miami and Phoenix. The results show that the outer layer of SPF in these assemblies can exceed 40°C for 8 to 10 h during each day of the summer months. However, the inner layers of the SPF remain within 1 to 2°C of room temperature. Due to these temperature variations with time and position in these assemblies exposed to real-world conditions, elevated temperature emission data from conventional test chambers may have limited use for contaminant modeling, but elevated temperature emission data may have other uses, such as for comparison testing or advanced modeling.

Author Information

Duncan, Richard, S.
Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance, Fairfax, VA, US
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Developed by Committee: D22
Pages: 119–137
DOI: 10.1520/STP158920150035
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-7624-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-7623-2