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FAQS TEST PAGE

ARMATHERM

Who are Armatherm?
We are a collaborative partner who can address thermal bridging concerns in building designs from the foundation to the roof. We manufacture structural thermal breaks to reduce energy loss within buildings.
Where are you based?
We have offices in the US, UK and the European Union.
Which countries do you serve?
Europe, North America and the United Kingdom.
What is your product range?

We manufacture an extensive product range with each materials providing a combination of low thermal conductivity and high compressive strength. They have been specifically designed and tested to transfer load and prevent thermal bridging.

What is FRR / 500 / Z Girt and common applications of each?

Armatherm’s FRR material is most commonly used to insulate steel connections that experience high structural loads.

Armatherm’s 500 Series is used within applications where the loads may vary and higher levels or insulation is required.

The Armatherm Z-Girt is a non conductive support which is strong enough to hold most cladding and insulation details.

Do you have US Testing Standards?

We have testing standards for ‘Resistance to Moisture / Thermal Transmittance / Fire Resistance / Compressive Strength’. For the most up-to-date test reports and further details, visit https://www.armatherm.co.uk/resources/thermal-break-test-reports/

Stock availability

We maintain high stock levels of all our most popular products.

Do you keep stock of the thermal breaks?

We keep high stock levels of the most popular materials, and can provide these in sheet form and bespoke sizes.

How long will it take to get my thermal breaks from ordering?

You can expect delivery within five – ten business days.

GENERAL FAQ’S

Thermal Bridging

What is thermal bridging?

A thermal bridge is an area or component of an object which has higher thermal conductivity than surrounding materials. The thermal bridge connects a heated area with the outside, creating unwanted heat transfer, bypassing the insulation layer.

What is thermal bridging in walls?

Thermal bridging within walls can occur via the wall framing, especially with steel wall studs which can act as bridges that let heat or cool air escape.

What is a thermal bridge in building insulation?

Within building insulation, there are elements which penetrate the building envelope. These can create thermal bridges which transfer heat or cool air out of a building.

What is thermal bridging in construction?

Thermal bridges can occur within several points during construction, any application where a conductive material is used is at risk of causing thermal bridges.

What is cold bridging?

Cold bridging is another term often used to describe thermal bridging, both refer to the transfer of heat or cool temperatures.

How to prevent thermal bridging? How to stop thermal bridging? How to avoid thermal bridging?

To avoid thermal bridges occuring where high conductivity is present such as steel beams, a thermal break can be incorporated which prevents temperatures transferring via conductible materials.

How to prevent cold bridging?

Any sort of thermal or cool bridges can be prevented with the use of the correct thermal break.

Thermal Breaks

How do the thermal conductivity values of Armatherm structural thermal break material compare to standard building materials?

To take a look at the full breakdown of each product’s values, download our datasheets here.

Link to https://www.armatherm.com/resources/literature-library/

What is a thermal break?

A thermal break is a material which harbours low thermal conductivity properties to slow the flow of heat energy via thermal bridges.

What is a thermal break in construction?

A thermal break can be used with a construction to make the building as efficient as possible. They can be used throughout many different areas of a structure thanks to their strength and versatility.

What is a thermal break in a building?

Thermal bridges can occur at several points throughout a building, any application where a conductive material is used can cause temperatures to be transferred.

What is a thermal break in masonry?

Masonry applications require tie-backs and shelf angles which form significant thermal bridges. Shelf angles transfer the masonry load back to the buildings’ structural steel or concrete slab edge interrupting the continuous insulation of the wall assembly creating a linear thermal bridge.

What is a thermal break in foundation?

When the frame of a building meets with the foundation significant heat loss can occur. By insulating the foundation from the frame energy can be saved.

Why do I need a thermal break?

Incorporating thermal breaks within a project improves the efficiency in areas which are difficult to insulate.

How much energy do thermal breaks save?

Armatherm’s products can save 70% of energy, depending on the application.

How much more efficient are buildings that use thermal breaks?

By specifying a thermal break, 30-75% of energy can be saved in areas where thermal bridges occur.

How thick should a thermal break be?

Depending on the plan details, thermal breaks are usually 1 – 4″ thick.

How much weight can structural thermal breaks bear?

Armatherm’s structural thermal breaks can bear loads between 230psi, and 43,000psi.

Applications/ fitting

What are the common applications in which a structural thermal break would be required?

There are a range of applications which would benefit from a thermal break including cladding attachment, slab edges, doors and window penetrations, roof penetrations like HVAC equipment, davits, dunnage, balconies, canopies, parapets, column bases, foundations.

What is a parapet roof?

A parapet roof is an extension of a wall that’s at the edge of a roof, balcony, terrace, walkways, or structure. It’s a short, vertical wall that runs the roofline of any building.

Can thermal breaks work at parapets?

You can insulate parapet transitions with the addition of a thermal break.

Can Parapets be insulated and thermally broken?

You can insulate parapets at the points where the roof meets the wall.

How are parapets thermally broken and insulated?

Utilising a high strength, weight bearing thermal break means you can insulate a parapet wall from the roof.

Why does steel framing need a thermal break?

Steel is a highly conductive metal which will transfer significant amounts of energy and heat from inside to outside. Separating them with a thermal break can prevent this.

Can concrete balconies be insulated and thermally broken?

You can thermally break concrete balconies as they’re engineered with cast-in-situ high strength polyurethane insulation.

Can steel balconies be insulated?

A steel balcony will be highly conductive, but with the use of a thermal break energy and heat transfer can be kept to a minimum.

How do you insulate a concrete wall?

You can insulate concrete walls with the help of nonconductive Z Girt anchors.

Why shouldn't I use wood / rubber materials to thermally isolate structural connections, even if they have low thermal conductivities?

Although wood and rubber both have low thermal conductivity properties, they will deflect, creep and potentially misshapen over time.

How are thermal breaks fitted?

Thermal breaks are fitted within any applications that require thermal isolation. Available in a number of different products, it depends on the application how these would be fitted.

At what stage in my project should thermal breaks be fitted?

As thermal breaks may change the dimensions of a plan, they should be specified and included with any planning at the earliest possible stages.

Do I have to use thermal isolation washers and bushings?

Washers and bushings can be used to further improve the thermal performance of a thermal break. Armatherm has a selection of FRR fixings available.

What is a column break?

A column break refers to when a thermal break is inserted under a column to provide insulation and reduce heat loss.

Can column bases be thermally broken and insulated?

A thermal break can be added on top of the footing and over the bolts and anchors with the column resting on top to thermally isolate and insulate the connection.

Can you insulate roof top HVAC equipment?

Roof-top HVAC equipment can be thermally broken at the base connection to the supporting beam.

Can you insulate roof top anchors for maintenance equipment?

To insulate roof-top anchors, Armatherm 500 is usually specified, though Armatherm FRR can be used within applications that require maximum strength.

Can you insulate sill plates or mud sills?

Armatherm 500 is often specified to insulate sill plates and mud sills.

Can brick shelves be thermally broken?

A brick shelf can be thermally broken by inserting a thermal break where the steel angle is bolted to the frame.

Other

What is rainscreen siding?

If moisture gets into the wall assembly, rainscreen sliding allows for draining and drying.

What is rainscreen cladding?

If moisture gets into the wall assembly, rainscreen cladding allows for draining and drying.

What is continuous insulation?

It’s a continuous layer of insulation on the exterior of building that reduces energy transfer between the building and surrounding environments. 

What are the common applications in which a structural thermal break would be required?
Thermal breaks are commonly found at balconies, canopies, parapets, column bases, foundations, cladding attachment, slab edges, doors and window penetrations, roof penetrations like HVAC equiptment, davits, dunage.
How does continuous insulation help efficiency?

Continuous insulation prevents unwanted heat loss and gain, meaning inside temperatures will stay warmer in cool weather and cooler in warm weather.

Does continuous insulation and rainscreen go together?

A thermal barrier and weather barrier should work together.

Which bearing material has poor thermal conductivity?

Dense structural materials usually harbour poor thermal conductivity qualities.

How to increase energy efficiency in buildings? How to improve building energy efficiency?

Energy efficiency can be increased in a building with the addition of thermal breaks which reduce thermal bridges and prevent the transfer energy and temperatures.

PRODUCT SPECIFIC

Z Girts

What are Z Girts? What is a Girt? What are Girts in construction?

A Z Girt is a S-shaped structural material that is used for holding insulation and mounting cladding or sliding. The non-conductive girts offer as much as a 75% improvement over traditional steel z girts.

What are the common applications for Z Girts?

Non conductive z girts provide secure insulation for continuous insulation, and a sound surface to connect cladding and siding.

Can I shim Z Girts to straighten a wall that is uneven?

If necessary, it is possible to shim a Z Girt.

What kind of insulation can Z Girts work with?

The more common types of insulation to be used alongside a Z Girt are mineral wool and polyisocyanurate.

What are the benefits of Z Girts?

Installing Z Girts is easy and quick, carrying many thicknesses of insulation and cladding. Specifying non conductive Z Girts allows the insulation to perform

How many insulation thicknesses does Z Girt hold?

Armatherm’s Z Girts come in seven standard sizes.

How much weight can Armatherm Z Girts hold?

Armatherm Z girts can hold all common insulation and all types of cladding except the heaviest.

Does Z Girt work with all types of cladding?

Armatherm Z girts can hold all common insulation and all types of cladding except the heaviest.

How do I attach cladding to Z Girts?

The Z Girts would be attached with weather resistant screws.

What kind of fasteners are used to attach the cladding to the Z Girt?

The Z Girts would be attached with weather resistant, self tapping screws.

How do Z Girts mount to the building?

They can be mounted with self tapping screws.

What kind of fasteners are used to attach to the building?

The Z Girts would be attached to the back of the building’s frame with weather resistant, self tapping screws.

Is there a starter and termination Z Girt piece?

Starter or temrmination pieces can be cut and used from Z Girts. 

What is the fire rating for Z Girt?

The Armatherm Z Girt is NFPA 285 certified.

How high up on a building can Z Girts be used?

This would be dependent on the type of cladding and the local building codes.

What is the wind rating for Z Girt and cladding assembly?

The wind rating is based on several factors including the weather in the local area, the height of the building and local building codes.

FRR

What is FRR material?

Armatherm’s FRR material stands for ‘fabric reinforced resin’, it’s a compressed thermoset resin with impressive insulation properties.

What are the common applications for FRR material?

FRR is best suited to be specified in projects with steel to steel connections where high compressive strength is needed.

How does FRR work in a steel connection? How thick is FRR in a steel connection?

The FRR material would be bolted between steel plates to control conductive heat loss or gain. The pads are often 1″to 4″ thick.

Is FRR strong enough in a steel connection?

FRR is tested as 43,000psi of compressive strength. If a  12″X12″ steel pad is bolted with FRR, it  could take over 6,000,000 pounds of compressive load.

How does FRR work in a steel connection? How thick is FRR in a steel connection?

A thermal break is sandwiched into a bolted connection. The thermal break is 1″-4″ thick, depending on the situation.

What are the benefits to using FRR?

Armatherm’s FRR material can improve the efficiency of a building by reducing heat flow out of the envelope.

What thicknesses does it come in?

FRR is stocked in thicknesses from 1/16″ to 2″, but can be bonded to create custom thicknesses to suit whichever measurements you require.

What is the fire rating for FRR material?

Armatherm materials should be protected from fire and can be used in areas that are <75 degrees F.

Is FRR cut and drilled on site or at the factory?

Either, FRR can be drilled on site but Armatherm can provide custom cutting and drilling to make sure it’s sent to site at the correct measurements.

Do the bolt sizes change when using thermal break Insulation pads?

The bolt specs will be decided by the engineer.

Are they difficult to use?

Not at all, but they must be specified within the early stages of a project.

How tight should I torque the bolts?

The spec of the bolts will be decided by the engineer.

How do the bushings and washers work?

Armatherm’s washers and bushings reduce the steel to steel contact to improve efficiency and reduce bridging.

500

What is the 500 series / range?

The series ranges from 500-80, 230psi at R-3.85 to 500-280, 2150psi at R-1.9. The lower the compression strength, the higher the R-value will be.

What is 500 made of?

Armatherm 500 is made from an ultra high density polyurethane.

Is 500 series material made of foam?

The 500 series is made from polyurethane which is considered foam.

What are the common applications for 500 range?

The 500 series has many uses as a structural thermal break, it can be used
anywhere a penetration or transition exists in the building envelope creating a thermal bridge.

What are the benefits to using the 500 range?

Armatherm 500 is easy to install, can be cut and drilled to shape and offers incredible insulating values.

What thicknesses are available?

The thicknesses includes 1/2″, 1″, 2″ and can be bonded to any thickness.

What sizes does it come in?

Armatherm 500 comes in 4’X8′ sheets, or can be drilled and cut to bespoke sizes.

What is a fire rating?

A fire rating measures building materials based on their ability to withstand heat and fire.

Is it easy to cut and drill on site?

The 500 series is easy to cut and drill on site, we recommend using a Forstner style drill bit.

Does Armatherm provide cutting and drilling?

Armatherm can work to your plans, cutting and drilling accordingly where required.

How strong is the 500 range?

The 500 range can withstand 230psi to 2150psi.

Does it crush over time?

When Armatherm’s 500 material is specified and installed properly it will not crush over time.

What is the compressive strength on 500 polyurethanes?

The Armatherm 500 series ranges from 500-80, 230psi at R-3.85 to 500-280, 2150psi at R-1.9. The lower the compressive strength, the higher the R value will be.

Need help?

Contact us today to find out more or request a quote.