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Understanding The CAN/ULC S705.1 And CAN/ULC S705.2 Standards Governing Medium-density Spray Polyurethane Foam

Spray polyurethane foam is an insulating product made on the construction site by spraying Part A and Part B. As the quality of the product is closely linked to its installation, the product AND the installer must comply with the CAN/ULC‑S705 standard. According to the National Building Code, medium-density spray-applied polyurethane must be evaluated according to the following standards: 

1.       CAN/ULC-S705.1 – Material Requirements; 

2.       CAN/ULC-S705.2 – Installation Requirements. 

ALL medium-density spray-applied polyurethane foam products must meet Material Requirements and ALL polyurethane spray foam installers using medium-density products must be certified by a third party to apply the product according to the Installation Requirements. 

CAN/ULC-S705.1 – Material Requirements

CAN/ULC-S705.1 is a national Canadian standard that ensures that medium-density spray-applied polyurethane foam products offered in the market are all evaluated against the same performance criteria. CAN/ULC-S705.1-18 is the most up-to-date version of the standard. 

CAN/ULC-S705.1-18 assesses the following : 

  • Air permeance

  • Apparent core density

  • Compressive strength

  • Dimensional stability

  • Fungi resistance

  • Long-term thermal resistance (LTTR)

  • Open cell content

  • Surface burning characteristics

  • Tensile strength

  • Time to occupancy

  • Water absorption

  • Water vapour permeance

©2021 Underwriters Laboratories Inc. Reprinted with permission. This material is not the complete and official position of ULC Standards on the referenced subject, which is represented only by the ULC Standard in its entirety.

Property Unit Min. Max. Test Method
Air Permeance L/s-m2 @ 75 Pa - .0200 Subsection 5.5.1
Apparent Core Density kg/m3 28 - Subsection 5.5.2
Compressive Strength kPa 170 - Subsection 5.5.3
Dimensional Stability, without substrate.
Volume change at:
-20 °C % - -2/+5  
80°C % - -2/+8 Subsection 5.5.4
70 °C, 97 ± 3 % % - -2/+14  
Fungi Resistance No Growth - Subsection 5.5.5
Long Term Thermal Resistance (Design thermal resistance value).
For a 50 mm thick speciment
at 25 mm thickness m2K/W Declare -  
at 50 mm thickness m2K/W 1.80 - Subsection 5.5.6
at 75 mm thickness m2K/W Declare -  
Open-Cell Content Volume % - 10 Subsection 5.5.7
Surface Burning Characteristics Flame Spread Rating - - 500 Subsection 5.5.8
Tensile Strength kPA 200 - Subsection 5.5.9
Time to Occupancy d - days - 30 Subsection 5.5.10
Water Absorption by Volume % - - Subsection 5.5.11
Water Vapour Permeance for a 50 mm thick specimen ng/(Pa-s-m2) - 60 Subsection 5.5.12

For a medium-density spray-applied polyurethane foam product to comply with the standard, it must meet all of the above requirements. It is not only one element that establishes the performance of the product but the combination of all these factors. 

The long-term thermal resistance (LTTR) is an essential variable to measure the performance of an insulating product, but it is, however, not the only one. Indeed, as mentioned above, it is important to take into account all the evaluation criteria of the product in order to obtain an overview of the overall performance, whether it is dimensional stability, water absorption, or air permeance, to name but a few, since all of these variables can influence performance. For example, insulation with a high percentage of water absorption will not be able to provide a thermal performance to the structures on which it is installed if it is exposed to precipitation. Similarly, a good thermal performance is useless if the insulation exhibits poor dimensional stability that causes it to shrink and peel off at the perimeter. All these elements must be taken into consideration, which explains why they are evaluated by the standard.

It is also relevant to mention that CAN/ULC-S705.1-18 measures LTTR according to CAN/ULC-S770-09. Therefore, according to CAN/ULC-S705.1-18, only the results of this test are valid and meet the requirements of the National Building Code. 

CAN/ULC-S705.2 – Installation Requirements 

As the insulation product is produced on the construction site when spraying Part A in combination with Part B, it is important that the installer respects the installation requirements prescribed by the standard in order to ensure a quality result. 

The training of an installer includes theoretical and practical courses. The installer is then evaluated by a practical examination carried out by a third party. For this part, SOPREMA relies on Caliber to train installers. 

Caliber is Canada’s largest certification body, contractor association and third-party quality assurance provider for spray foam. Their quality assurance program provides spray-foam chemicals manufacturers and suppliers with frameworks that comply with all industry codes and standards. Caliber builds and establishes trust between spray foam chemical manufacturers and building construction stakeholders through an independent framework that is government approved and recognized by the CCMC and building authorities across Canada. Caliber is accredited with international accreditation services as a personnel certification body (ISO 17024) and an inspection body (ISO 17020).

Furthermore, to ensure long-term quality, certification must be renewed once every five years. 

In conclusion, as the product is manufactured on the construction site, the installation plays a determining role in the quality of the finished product. Therefore, the product AND the installer must be evaluated according to CAN/ULC‑S705 to meet the requirements of the National Building Code. 

The performance of the product must be evaluated using several performance criteria stated in CAN/ULC-S705.1 (including LTTR, dimensional stability, density, air permeance, water absorption, and many others), and the installer must be certified to install the product per CAN/ULC-S705.2. 


Now Produced Here in Canada

SOPRA-SPF 200 is a medium-density, two-component, closed-cell, spray-applied polyurethane foam.