Among the biggest decisions facing spray foam operators is which type of spray foam machine to purchase. Selecting the type of machine that cost effectively meets your business needs for output, longevity and ease of use is critical to your success.
There are three types of spray foam machines from which to choose – air driven, electric and hydraulic. Each has its advantages depending on your spray foam needs and how you plan to use your equipment.
Air-driven systems are considered easy-to-use entry level machines for low-output applications, and can deliver up to 25 lbs. of material per minute. Air machines are generally used for in-plant applications or as an entry-level machine for contractors.
The relatively low cost of air-driven machines makes them attractive, particularly to start-ups. However, business growth and expansion into new applications may soon necessitate the purchase of larger, higher output machines.
Because air-driven machines require an air compressor to operate, in-plant foam applications where large air compressors are available on-site often make these machines an attractive, cost effective choice. Learn more about how air-driven spray foam machines work.
Air-driven spray foam machine
Electric spray foam machine
Electric spray foam machines have become the most popular systems in the industry, and are considered mid-level production units, delivering between 20-30 lbs. of material per minute. Due to the mid-range output of the electric machines, typical applications are residential construction and mid-sized industrial construction. Learn more about how electric spray foam machines work.
Hydraulic spray foam machines are high output units, delivering 30-50 lbs. of material per minute. These machines are well suited for a range of applications, such as residential construction and larger commercial buildings, roofs, and oil and gas applications. These high output units allow operators to apply material faster and more efficiently.
Another consideration is the life span of the various types of machines. The typical life span of electric foam spray machines can easily be 7 to 10+ years. Due to their robust design, hydraulic spray foam machines last a bit longer, 10 to 12+ years. Keep in mind many factors contribute to the useful life of a piece of equipment, including usage rates, the application environment and preventive maintenance.
The larger pumps on the hydraulic sprayers cycle less frequently, so they need to be rebuilt less often, on average every one to two years. Conversely, pumps on the air and electric machines may need to be rebuilt more often based on the reduced output per stroke. Learn more about how hydraulic spray foam machines work.
Hydraulic spray foam machine