Thermal Break Materials

Thermal break materials reduce the heat lost due to thermal bridging.  Structural thermal breaks maintain continuous insulation where connections pass through the thermal envelope. Additionally, a thermal break will keep internal material surface temperatures warm, which avoids the risk of condensation within the building envelope.

cladding thermal break

The conductance and thermal conductivity of a thermal break determine how well it conducts heat and the rate at which heat will flow through it.  The thermal conductivity or k-value is often presented in either metric or imperial units.  Figure 1 will help when comparing thermal break materials or assemblies that publish only one or the other.  The graph shows the relationship between metric and imperial units of thermal conductivity. 

The thermal resistance of a material or R-value, is the inverse of it’s thermal conductivity.  The graph in Figure 2 shows the relationship between R-value and k-value in imperial units.  

thermal conductivity units

Figure 1

r value and thermal conductivity

Figure 2

If you have a technical question about any of our structural thermal break products or thermal bridging solutions in general, please contact us to discuss.  Click on the images below for additional information on each type of thermal break and the locations within the building envelope where they can be used to prevent thermal thermal bridging. 

Thermal break blocks reduce heat loss at foundation to wall transitions and roof to parapet intersections.

A high strength thermal break material that reduces heat loss at balcony, canopy, shelf angle, roof post and other structural steel connections where larger forces exist due to moment and dead loads.

 A non-combustible thermal break material that reduces heat loss at cladding clip, sunshade and roof post connections where load transfer forces are smaller and a fire rating is required.

A noncombustible thermal break material that reduces heat loss at roof purlin, wall purlin and fenestration steel frame connections where a fire rating is required.

An EPS material combining strength and high thermal resistance reducing heat loss at fenestration frames, roof or wall purlins, and curtain wall and storefront transitions.