”In theory, it’s not the equipment that is really any different, it is the philosophy in the design that sets it apart,” said Tim Nick of Revolution Machinery. ”At the end of the day, you need pressure and heat to make a good product with proper physical properties. The other deciding factor, and maybe the most important one prior to purchasing equipment, is how easy that machine will be to service while it’s out in the field.”
So, what are some aspects that affect the performance of a proportioner that SPF contractors should not overlook? In this Editorial Spotlight, we will discuss what some of these crucial components are.
1. HOSE HEATING POWER
Whether the proportioner has a pneumatic, electrical or hydraulic pump system, there will always be a need for voltage to increase heating capacity. Companies likes Revolution Machinery make sure that their proportioners are equipped with hose transformers that carry higher voltage so that their customers can get more performance from their machine while on the job.
The way a company chooses components for nitty-gritty technical aspects can reveal the way it thinks when assembling their machines.
“I’ve learned that it’s usually 10 percent more that makes something 100 percent better,” said Nick. “If we buy a component for $100.00, we have to make a decision if the next higher priced component will perform 100 percent better. It’s a balancing act between cost and performance. We could easily save money going with a transformer that provides lower voltage, but higher voltage is a better investment-to-performance ratio.”
To ensure reliable heating from proportioner to spray gun, all Revolution machines have a 120-volt hose transformer for hose lengths up to 400 feet.
2. HEAT ZONES
The heat zones of a proportioner are generally designed to provide accurate heat control and handle different chemical viscosities for reliable spraying. Most proportioners are equipped with three different heat zones: hose heat, ISO, and resin. According to Nick, Revolution Machinery is the only manufacturer in the spray foam industry that provides a five-zone heating system in their proportioning machines, allowing for optimal viscosity control. This five-zone heating system includes two digitally controlled internal preheaters and two digitally controlled post heaters.“We found that many contractors were recirculating to heat cold material and having viscosity issues,” said Nick. “Revolution Machinery’s five-zone, two-stage machines provide more heat control than any other machine on the market by gently raising the material temperature in two stages versus a single stage. The result is better yield and less downtime wasted when heating the material. The two-stage process has much better heating capacity and greatly reduces the chance of scalding or burning valuable material.”
3. SEAL DESIGNS
A proportioner’s pump seal design can certainly provide a greater extension of the seal’s life. Nick notes that most proportioners’ seal design is asymmetric, which produces more pressure in one direction than the reverse. He recognizes that Revolution took this into account when assembling their proportioner and sought for an equal distribution of pressure via their seal design. “The downside to the asymmetric seal design is that it may result in pulsing of the spray pattern when larger spray chambers are used in high volume applications,” said Nick. “Our proportioners’ new seal design is symmetrical, producing equal volume and pressure in both positive and negative directions.”
4. CHECK VALVE BALLS
Another weak point in proportioning machine components is the traditional check ball valves on the high-pressure fluid side. They are essentially used as one-way valves that act like a gate, only allowing material to flow in one direction. When a machine sits for a long period of time, there is a likelihood of a ring of material hardening on the steel check ball. If and when the ball pops loose, it is prone to not properly reseal itself. If this happens, pressure issues and improper mix ratios can occur. Companies like Revolution Machinery stay ahead of the game by anticipating solutions to problems like these and implement the right component into their machine. “Revolution’s answer to the average check ball valve is the design of our milled valve, which seals the same exact way with every stroke, greatly reducing the likely hood of leaking in any stroke direction,” said Nick.Revolution Machinery is confident that their equipment design possesses crucial aspects that give their machines industry-leading performance and reliability, which provide spray foam contractors with the absolute best investment for beginners and experienced professionals alike.
CONTACT INTERNATIONAL S.P.E.C. TECHNOLOGIES
Direct any questions you have about key aspects of an ideal proportioning machine to Revolution Machinery: