Frequently Asked Questions
The product manufacture date is based upon the Julian calendar. The first set of digits reflects the formulation batch code. The second series of numbers signifies the Julian Number and the last set marks the year and the line that the product was filled on within our factory.
The first series of numbers is the batch code, followed by the day in which it was produced, followed by the year and line number. The batch code for the example product translates to this product being made on February 1st, 2014 and was filled on line number 2.
Silane Modified Polymers are referred to as SMP or MS Polymers®. SMPs’ are moisture-cure polymers which can be comprised of a polymer backbone and Silyl terminated end groups.
Dependent upon the chemical backbone or resin composition, there are two main types of modified silanes on the market today:
- Polyurethane Modified Silanes (Known as SPUR Polymers), or
- Polyether Modified Silanes (known as SMP or MS Polymers®)
Strong in European and Japanese markets, STPEs offer the ability to formulate adhesives and sealants that are based on a unique chemical structured Silyl-terminated polyether, also known as Silane Modified Polymers or MS Polymers®.
STPE sealants and adhesives are steadily gaining momentum in the U.S. due to their wide range of physical and high performance properties.
The words Sealant and Caulk are widely used interchangeably. As such, it comes as no surprise why a person would wonder if these two are the same, or, if they are in fact different.
The Adhesive and Sealant Council defines caulk as an antiquated term used for the material found in joints. As such, the Council has adopted the position that all caulks are sealants.
Our take on this subject varies just a bit and seems to follow the consensus. While we agree that all caulks are sealants, they also differ from one another. Basically, caulks fill voids and take up space, while Sealants, well…they “Seal.” Many manufacturers and end-users refer to “better”, higher performing “Caulks” as Sealants.
So, if you hear somebody use the word “Caulk”, they are most likely talking about a latex or acrylic material, which is characteristically, a low performance “Sealant.” Adversely, you will most likely never hear an Advanced Polymer Sealant referred to as a Caulk, but rather a Sealant due to their high performance features.
Adhesives differ from Caulks and Sealants. While a Sealant will and should “adhere” to substrates, its’ primary function is to prevent infiltrations, such as air, insects, moisture, noise, even smoke and fire as well as seal joints and assemblies.
While adhesives can prevent the same infiltrations and seal joints, they typically have a higher strength and lower elongation. The main objective of an Adhesive is to form strong bonds with surfaces of a wide range of materials and retain bond strength over a long period of time.
The level of adhesion needed is dependent upon the application. Temporary labels require less adhesive strength than adhesives used to hold parts of an airplane together.
Advanced Polymer Sealants and Adhesives are developed from a blend of different polymers. This polymer blend typically consists of an amalgamation of Silicone and Polyurethane polymers.
Also referred to as “Hybrids” or “Modified” materials, Advanced Polymer Sealants & Adhesives are sought after for their ability to provide the best properties of two or more families of polymeric materials while restricting their individual native weaknesses.
For example, a Urethane typically provides high performance characteristics such as the ability to form a durable, lifetime bond. While we agree that Urethane sealants can perform extremely well, Urethanes also have many setbacks, such as a high solvent content, which creates a “bubbling” effect in applied material during cure. Urethanes can also be extremely thick, particularly in colder climates, have longer cure times and provide limited adhesion to various substrates.
Advanced Polymers provide durable, lifetime bonds as well, but, unlike a urethane, Advanced Polymers are solvent free, can be extruded in very low temperatures, can cure faster, adhere to many types of materials, and are much easier on the olfactory senses. In fact, there is little to no odor associated with modified sealants which makes them safe to use on interior applications.
While both Silicones, RTV and Neutral Cure Silicones differ greatly and each one has advantages over the other.
RTV stands for “Room Temperature Vulcanization” – Meaning that an RTV Silicone will only cure directly under the action of atmospheric conditions. Simply stated, it needs air/moisture to cure properly.
Neutral Cure Silicone has a distinct advantage over an RTV Silicone, in that it does not require atmospheric moisture to cure properly. Neutral Cures will cure with or without the presence of moisture, making this the go to sealant for glazing and back bedding applications.
It’s actually easier to tell you what cannot be painted and that would be Silicone, some co-polymers, and Non-Skinning Sealants and Adhesives. Everything else, for the most part, can be painted.
Again, let me stress that Silicone CANNOT BE PAINTED.
If you are told that a Silicone is paintable, it’s either
A: Not a Silicone
B: The “paintable” material is “Siliconized”, in which case, it is NOT a Silicone and can most likely be painted.
Gun Grade Spray Foam requires a separate application gun, which provides sharper control over how much foam is used and where it’s applied.
Remember, it is imperative that soon after use; the foam gun must be cleaned out with foam cleaner. Failure to properly clean your foam gun will result in you having to purchase a new application gun.
Polyurethane spray foams are available as closed or open-cell foam. Closed-cell foam is the most popular of choices as it provides the best moisture resistance and insulating properties.
Open Cell foam is more susceptible to moisture and may not be as effective as closed-cell foam for insulation purposes unless professionally managed. An advantage that Open-cell foams have over Closed-cell is their effective sound barrier characteristics, having twice the sound resistance of closed-cell foam.
If you’re trying to keep the cold air out and the warm air in, or vice versa, depending upon the season, Closed-cell is the best option.
If you’re worried that the neighbors’ two houses down the street can hear what you’re watching in your home theatre room, maybe you should look into an open-cell spray foam.
Taking cold climates out as a reason why you would want your spray foam to cure faster, yes, there is a way to speed up the curing process.
Slightly dampening the material where the foam is being applied can help it to set faster. Foam is a moisture-cure product, so the more moisture, the faster it’s able to cure.
In saying that, if you need foam insulation to cure, or cure faster in cold climates, I redirect you back to the above paragraph, “Foam is a moisture-cure product.” There is a lack of moisture present in cold climates making the use of spray foams in this environment challenging.
If you experience issues in colder climates there are a couple of options to make this function achievable.
The easiest option is to utilize a Cold Climate Foam. The other option is to spray a fine mist of water during application in cold temps. The water mist will provide the moisture needed for a proper cure.
If you opt for choice B and your spray bottle ends up freezing and your foam won’t cure, you probably should have gone with option A and purchased the Cold Climate Spray Foam.
Wet foam is extremely sticky which can cause problems if you haven’t properly prepared for this task. Make sure that you always use a drop cloth or protective covering and be sure you are sporting protective safety gear.
Pay attention to where you are walking. Stray foam blobs can cause trouble for you down the path.
If you happen to get foam on your skin or clothing because you didn’t heed our warnings on wearing protective safety gear, you’re not in for a treat.
Nothing removes set foam from your skin other than determined peeling and scratching. For all of you who wondered what waxing feels like, this experience will give you a chance to find out.
Wear protective gear and be sure to remove all wet foam before it sets!
If you can’t find the answer you are looking for, fill out the Technical Support Form and someone will get back to you with an answer to your question.