Spray foam insulation removal question **Update**

Discussion in 'Fridge/Freezer Builds' started by ballagh, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. ballagh

    ballagh Smoking Fanatic

    I built this one last year
    and was lucky enough to find an older one without spray foam. Looking at building another one bigger and better :) I found one and working on the price. It is a 2004 SS fridge
    I havent looked at it yet but am 100% certain it has spray foam between the cabinet and shell. Let me here your horror stories about getting that spray foam out and what secret technique you devised to clear it out. I have seen a few comments on other threads but decided to start another :)
  2. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    find out what kind of insulation it is. If it is Class 1 Polyurethane then you don't need to touch it. 

    Most coolers and freezers should be made with Class 1 polyurethane insulation in  and the max temp is 750 or higher. http://www.koolstar.com/news_events/walkinFAQ.PDF this link is to a BASF article outling the characteristics of Class 1 poly in coolers and refirugerators, walk in or other wise. 

    If unsure, call the manaufacturer with the model # to be sure what they used. 

    A call can be WAAAAAY easier than ripping that insulation out.
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    WOW..... Cool and good info Mike...... Dave
  4. ballagh

    ballagh Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for the info. I called true mfg amd it is stainless on all sides including the interior cabinet. They used a product called ecofoam. Contacted that company and waiting for a response. True would not comment. Suprise suprise :)
  5. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    True should know what kind of foam insulation they are using, that is some shit service.

    Its either polyurethane (and most likely) or polystyrene. My guess is that being the insulation companies name is Ecofoam, they make polyurethane, it is an organic compound and environmentally friendly.

    Polystyrene is not a green product, very bad for the environment and tough to use the term Eco in your title if one is going to make environmentally UN-friendly products.

    Keep us posted. Curious to find out.
  6. According to True Manufacturing current production uses a material called "Ecomade". They really didn't want to tell me anything about it, but when I told them I was thinking of making a smoker out of it he did tell me that their heated boxes use the same material and they usually run about 180°.

     I did some testing with a small piece I removed from below the cabinet. I heated up my oven to 250, put the material in a hot skillet and put it in the oven. It did not melt or smoke and it didn't give off any odors. I then turned the oven to 275 without any problems. I don't think a person would have any problems with it but I can't say for sure. 

     You might call them and try your luck 636-240-2400.

    daveomak likes this.
  7. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    It will be a PU insulation. Don't remove very anything. Just saved yourself a tonne of work and time.
  8. ballagh

    ballagh Smoking Fanatic

    Here is the reply I got this morning from them.

    Mr. Ballagh,
    Foam Supplies, Inc. recommends that you do NOT try to build a customer smoker out of any refrigerator.
    No rigid foam, including “Class 1” will handle the temperatures high enough for this to be safe.
    All rigid foams begin to breakdown at 225⁰F.
    Fumes from foam can be hazardous to your health. 
    Todd Keske   
    Foam Supplies, Inc. | direct +1.314.344.1522
    4387 N. Rider Trail, Earth City, MO 63045
    www.foamsupplies.com | www.ecomatesystems.com
    Better Products. Better for the Environment.
  9.   My MES 40 has rigid foam and I don't worry about it not standing the heat. I think he is worried about liability. All rigid foam can't deteriorate at 225. I saw the stuff from my "True Mfg." refer stand 275 like it was nothing.

  10. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    I have to agree, I think he is just trying to avoid liability issues. Though basic PUR insulation is only rated for 50f, the spec sheets found on both websites below his name state far higher fir rating temps.

    The key is to ensure the insulation is not exposed to direct heat. Seal joints, corners or any other small holes that would allow vapor to escape.

    And realistically, how often is the smokehouse going to get above 200F and for how long anyways?
  11. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Practically no manufacturer will give you any information about their products if you tell them that you're going to modify it, or use it for anything other than its intended purpose. You're right, it's liability issues. Heck, even Cook Shack wouldn't give me any info on the size of their interior smokebox (I was looking at buying one for my fridge conversion) when I told them I didn't already own one of their smokers.
  12. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    I decided to err on the side of caution this week when I started to convert my coke cooler to a smoker. I am removing all the insulation in it and putting proper insulation and interior sheet metal in place.

    Glad I decided to. Found that there was several blocks of Styrofoam in the walls.

    Coolers are coolers. Not made for heat. gut them and do it right, as always, remains true.
  13. riverrats bbq

    riverrats bbq Newbie

    I am doing a comercial freezer build. I have dismantled my freezer and then cut the face of the freezer off. I then pried the interior shell out. Tonight I laid the back half on the driveway and fired up the pressure washer. It took me 45 minutes to remove all insulation! From both halves.
  14. ballagh

    ballagh Smoking Fanatic

    Well I found a double door commercial cooler today.  Cant beat free.  It came out of a pizzahut and was built in 1990.  Pretty good shape.  Here is my dliema.  I am sure it has spray foam insulation.  What about leaving it, and building a 2" frame all the way around the inside, insulation it with mil grade or high heat insulation, and I planned on a new 10 gauge steel interior box anyway since there will be lots of full size racks, rotisserie, etc...  

    Dont you think with another layer of insulation, and a heavy gauge new cabinet fully welded to the stainless face frame, you would be plenty safe?


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