What is Thermal Barrier?
Definition of Thermal Barrier in Construction
A thermal barrier is a layer of non flammable material that is sprayed, painted, or mechanically applied over a combustible surface or product. The thermal barrier is extremely important due to the fire requirements of a structure. The thermal barrier will provide the hour rating for each component within the building. For example, the application of a spray foam insulation to a deck and supporting structure is required to have a thermal barrier applied over the top of the spray foam. In many cases this application of a thermal barrier is in the form of a layer of intumescent paint, which is a fireproof painting application. In other situations the thermal barrier is a course of masonry, or a certain amount of layers of sheetrock. The Underwriters Lab will identify the specific assembly and the hour rating that this assembly provides. A UL approved assembly is required to achieve the required fire rating as detailed by the architect. A thermal barrier will be the barrier that establishes this fire rating. Each application will be different in regards to fire rating and each location within the structure will require a different configuration of components to maintain the required fire rating. The thermal barrier is an important aspect to properly adhering to the specifications and achieving the proper fire code requirements. The thermal barrier is an important aspect of any fire rated assembly and the application of this barrier is closely monitored in the field due to its affect on the safety and fire compliance of the structure.