Closed Cell VS Open Cell Foam / Sponge

Closed Cell VS Open Cell Foam / Sponge

February 18, 2019

Comfort in our homes is fundamental. Keeping the temperature at optimum levels is one of the determinants of a comfortable home. Foams offer one of the best insulation properties by not only blocking the heat flow but also stopping the air flow and hence increasing comfort while reducing energy bills. However, if you decide to use foam insulation, there is another decision to make. You have to choose between closed cell and open cell foam.

Closed foams may be defined as cells which are enclosed totally by their walls. There is no interlocking with other cells.

closed cell silicone seal
Photo : Closed Cell Silicone Sponge / Foam Seals

The cells are pressed together restricting penetration of moisture and air in the foam. They are hence rigid and stable. On the other hand, open cell foams have more than half of their cells open. The cells are deliberately left open making them softer and flexible. They both have different weaknesses and strengths; hence none can be said to better than the other. They serve best according to different unique requirements.

However, they have differences and similarities in their features and workability. Closed foam cells are rigid and dense. They also have minimal expansions and are moisture impermeable. Any leak happening is quickly visible and repaired timely. Open cells, on the other hand, are lightweight and easy to work with. They also have a very high expansion rate and are inherently moisture permeable.

open cell sponge sheet
Photo : Open Cell Silicone Sponge / Foam

The dense nature of closed cells makes them expensive to produce and install but increases their durability significantly. Both closed and open cells provide an air seal which eliminates all heat losses and moisture penetration within the enclosure.

Generally, closed foam cells may be most applicable for robust installations with minimal space, and its rigidity may boost the structural integrity of the enclosure and is not affected by moisture. Open foam cells can insulate areas that are hard to reach like interior angles formed by two meeting walls which the closed foam cells may be unable to insulate. Open foam cells are however not ideal for extreme temperatures because they do not insulate the building as efficiently as the closed cells do, but are much more affordable. They are mostly used for soundproofing.

Choosing the type to use is dependent on factors such as the thermal insulation or waterproofing goals and where the enclosure is located. 

vessel hatch door silicone seal
Photo : Vessel Hatch Door Silicone Seal

The next time you hop on a ferry from Singapore heading to Batam, lookout for our Silicone Seals on their Hatch Doors! Contact us for custom sizes and an obligation-free quotation.