Who are Armatherm?
Armatherm is a manufacturer of structural thermal break material used in buildings to control energy loss at thermal bridging areas.
Where are you based?
Armatherm has offices in the United Kingdom, United States and European Union
Which countries do you serve?
Armatherm serves the UK, all of North America and Europe.
How fast is your turnaround time?
Generally 3-5 working days however this is dependant on size
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?
FRR commonly is used to insulate in steel to steel connections where high structural loads are required. 500 Series are used to insulate areas where compressive loads vary and higher insulation values are desired. Z Girts are used to carry exterior insulation and attachment for cladding.
How do the thermal conductivity values of Armatherm structural thermal break material compare to standard building materials?
We have a full breakdown of conductivity values in our datasheets, which can be downloaded here. Link to https://www.armatherm.co.uk/resources/literature-library/
Do you have European Testing Standards?
Yes we have up to date testing standards for: Compressive Strength / Fire Resistance / Thermal Transmittance / Resistance to Moisture . See our test reports for more details. Link to https://www.armatherm.co.uk/resources/thermal-break-test-reports/
Are Armatherm thermal breaks BBA Approved?
Yes they are. The links to the certificates can be found below:
FRR – BBA CERTIFICATE – https://www.armatherm.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Armatherm-FRR-BBA.pdf
BBA CERTIFICATE https://www.armatherm.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Armatherm-500-BBA.pdf
Do you have Passivhaus thermal breaks?
Armatherm gained certification from the Passivhaus Institute for our Armatherm 500-320 and Armatherm 500-490 products.
What is thermal bridging?
A thermal bridge is a conductive pathway over which heat can travel. A thermal bridge connects a heated or conditioned space with the outside creating unwanted heat loss or heat gain. Thermal breaks bypass the insulation layer.
What is thermal bridging in walls?
Wall framing can act as a thermal bridge that lets heat or cooling escape, especially with steel wall studs.
What is a thermal bridge in building insulation?
A thermal bridge bypasses the insulation or thermal envelope.
What is thermal bridging in construction?
A thermal bridge in construction is when material that is conductive allows energy to pass through it easily.
What is cold bridging?
A cold bridge is a conductive pathway over which heat can travel. A cold bridge connects a heated or conditioned space with the outside creating unwanted heat loss or heat gain. Thermal breaks bypass the insulation layer.
How to prevent thermal bridging? How to stop thermal bridging? How to avoid thermal bridging?
Every building material has a conductive property or K-value. Thermal bridging is where high conductivity is present, such as a steel beam, and it conducts heat in or out of a building, bypassing the insulation. A thermal break is structural insulation, inserted into a beam connection to greatly reduce the conductive heat transfer.
What is a thermal break in construction?
Thermal breaks are inserted into thermal bridges to interrupt conductive heat loss. Steel beams, columns, brick shelves, and Z Girts are areas where thermal breaks are used.
What is a thermal break in a building?
Thermal breaks in buildings are found in areas where the envelope of the building is bridged with conductive material such as steel.
What is a thermal break in masonry?
Brick shelves are important structural supports that connect the outer brick wall to the superstructure or frame. Brick shelves should be insulated with thermal breaks.
What is a thermal break in foundation?
Significant heat loss happens where the frame of the building is in contact with the foundation. Insulating the foundation from the frame with thermal breaks saves energy.
Why do I need a thermal break?
Thermal breaks improve energy efficiency and provide continuous insulation at transition areas that are otherwise difficult to insulate.
How much energy do thermal breaks save?
Thermal breaks can save 70% of energy loss within the areas where thermal bridging occurs.
How much more efficient are buildings that use thermal breaks?
Thermal breaks can save 30%-75% of energy loss in within the areas where thermal bridging occurs.
How thick should a thermal break be?
Dependent on application / use they can range from 1mm – 250mm
How do I determine the thickness of the thermal break?
This is determined if there is a specific U value you are trying to achieve at the point of connection.
How much weight can structural thermal breaks bear?
Our structural thermal breaks can bear between 230psi-43,000psi structural loads.
How do I know if the thermal break has the correct compressive strength capabilities?
This can be calculated by advising the load by which the thermal break will be exposed to, along the length x width of the thermal break which we would mirror to the size of the End Plate / Faceplate / Column Base Details.
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 equipment, davits, dunnage.
What is a parapet roof?
A parapet is the short wall that extends the wall beyond the roof plane and is where the wall and roof connect.
Can thermal breaks work at parapets?
Parapet transitions can be insulated with thermal breaks.
Can Parapets be insulated and thermally broken?
Yes. Parapets can be insulated where the roof meets the wall.
How are parapets thermally broken and insulated?
Armatherm high strength, weight bearing insulation, can insulate a parapet wall from the roof and lower wall.
Why does steel framing need a thermal break?
Steel is highly conductive and will transfer significant heat from inside to outside, through the steel, if it is not separated with a thermal break.
Can concrete balconies be insulated and thermally broken?
Yes. Concrete balconies are engineered with cast-in-situ high strength polyurethane insulation.
Can steel balconies be insulated?
Yes. As steel is a highly conductive material it will transfer significant heat from the interior to the exterior of the building envelope – therefore a thermal break can be used to reduce the heat loss and make the building more efficient.
How do you insulate a brick wall?
Brick walls should be thermally broken at the tieback points along the shelf angles.
How do you insulate a concrete wall?
Concrete walls can be insulated 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?
These materials will have low thermal conductivities, however the materials will deflect, creep and take a permanent set under load.
How are thermal breaks fitted?
Thermal breaks are placed in load bearing areas where other insulation types could not take the load. The structural thermal break would match the dimension load bearing plate.
At what stage in my project should thermal breaks be fitted?
Thermal breaks should be figured into the earliest stages of the planning and included in technical drawings. Thermal breaks may change the dimensions on the plan, so it is essential they are considered in the plans.
Do I have to use thermal isolation washers and bushings?
Washers and bushings are not required however will improve thermal performance. We have a selection of thermal isolation washers and bushings dependent on the hole drilled (the different sizes are on the FRR Data sheet here: https://www.armatherm.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/armatherm-uk-gradefrr-datasheet-digital.pdf)
What are the benefits of using thermal isolation washers and brushings?
The addition of Armatherm™ Bushing & Washer can improve thermal efficiency by 12%. We have a selection of thermal isolation washers and bushings dependent on the hole drilled (the different sizes are on the FRR Data sheet here: https://www.armatherm.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/armatherm-uk-gradefrr-datasheet-digital.pdf)
Can I drill Armatherm thermal breaks on site?
Yes – please contact for the information (material dependent)
What is a column break?
A thermal break can be inserted under a column to insulate it and reduce heat loss.
Can column bases be thermally broken and insulated?
Yes. The column can rest on a thermal break on the top of the footing and over the bolts and anchors.
Can you insulate roof top HVAC equipment?
Yes. HVAC equipment can be thermally broken at the base connection to the supporting beam.
Can you insulate roof top anchors for maintenance equipment?
Yes. Armatherm 500 is commonly used in this area. Armatherm FRR can be used if the forces require maximum strength.
Can you insulate sill plates or mud sills?
Yes. Armatherm 500 is commonly used in this area.
Can brick shelves be thermally broken?
Yes. A thermal break is inserted where the steel angle is bolted to the steel frame. This break will isolate the supporting angle from the frame.
What is rainscreen siding?
Rainscreen siding allows for drainage and drying if moisture gets into the wall assembly.
What is rainscreen cladding?
Rainscreen cladding allows for drainage and drying if moisture gets into the wall assembly.
What is continuous insulation?
Continuous insulation provides uninterrupted insulation at the thermal envelope.
How does continuous insulation help efficiency?
Uninterrupted thermal envelope insulation provides the best barrier to unwanted heat loss and heat gain.
Does continuous insulation and rainscreen go together?
Yes. The thermal barrier and the weather barrier should work together.
How to increase energy efficiency in buildings? How to improve building energy efficiency?
The discovery and quantifying of thermal bridging has lead to the development of weight bearing, structural thermal breaks. Designing thermal breaks into a building design has a significant, long lasting effect on the energy efficiency in buildings.
What are Z Girts? What is a Girt? What are Girts in construction?
A Z Girt is a structural member, shaped like a Z, that is used for holding insulation, and mounting cladding or siding. Non conductive z 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 provides secure insulation retention for continuous insulation, and a sound surface to permanently connect cladding and siding.
Can I shim Z Girts to straighten a wall that is uneven?
Yes. It is common to shim z girts where necessary.
What kind of insulation can Z Girts work with?
Mineral wool or polyisocyanurate are most often used with z girts.
What are the benefits of Z Girts?
Z girts are fast and easy to install, carry many thicknesses of insulation, and cladding. Non conductive Z girts will allow the insulation to perform at a high level.
How many insulation thicknesses does Z Girt hold?
Z girts come in 7 standard sizes- 1 1/2″, 2″, 2 1/2″, 3″, 3 1/2″, 4″ and 6″
How much weight can Armatherm Z Girts hold?
Armatherm Z Girts can hold all common insulation and all but the heaviest cladding
Does Z Girt work with all types of cladding?
Armatherm Z Girts can hold all common insulation and all but the heaviest cladding.
How do I attach cladding to Z Girts?
Armatherm Z Girts are attached with weather resistant screws.
What kind of fasteners are used to attach the cladding to the Z Girt?
Armatherm Z Girts are attached with weather resistant, self tapping screws.
How do Z Girts mount to the building?
Z Girts mount with self tapping screws.
What kind of fasteners are used to attach to the building?
Armatherm Z Girts mount back to the frame of the building with self tapping, weather resistant screws.
Is there a starter and termination Z Girt piece?
Z girts can be cut and used as a strarter or termination piece.
What is the fire rating for Z Girt?
Armatherm Z Girt is NFPA 285 certified.
How high up on a building can Z Girts be used?
How high up on a building would be based on the type of cladding used and the local building codes.
What is the wind rating for Z Girt and cladding assembly?
The wind rating is based on many factors, including local weather, building height and local building codes.
What is FRR material?
FRR refers to Fabric Reinforced Resin. It is a compressed thermoset resin.
What are the common applications for FRR material?
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?
FRR will be bolted between steel plates to control conductive heat loss or gain. FRR pads are often 1″-4″ thick.
Is FRR strong enough in a steel connection?
FRR is tested at 300N/mm2 of compressive strength. A 305mm x 305mm steel pad with FRR 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?
The steel terminated and a plate is welded on, then a thermal break is sandwiched into a bolted connection as the steel continues outside the building. The thickness of the thermal break is dependant on the situation.
What are the benefits to using FRR?
FRR cuts down on the heat flow out of the building through the beam and has capabilities for high compressive loads
What thicknesses does it come in?
Thickness can vary dependent on application / desired thermal effectiveness required
What is the fire rating for FRR material?
Should be protected from fire and can be used in areas that are <175 degrees F.
Is FRR cut and drilled on site or at the factory?
FRR can be drilled on site but Armatherm offers custom cutting and drilling in the factory.
Do the bolt sizes change when using thermal break Insulation pads?
Engineers call out the bolt specs.
Are they difficult to use?
No. but they must be in the in the architects plans, early in the project. They are exceptionally easy to install
How tight should I torque the bolts?
Engineers call out the bolt specs.
How do the bushings and washers work?
Washers and bushings reduce the steel to steel contact and improves efficiency.
Is 500 series material made of foam?
Polyurethane is considered foam.
What are the common applications for 500 range?
500 series has many uses as a structural thermal break from column bases to sill plates, suspending HVAC equipment, poured in situ balcony thermal breaks and parapets.
What are the benefits to using the 500 range?
Easy to use and install. it can be cut in the field or in the factory. 500 has high strength and excellent insulating value. This is to be used under compressive loads only.
What thicknesses are available?
Stock thicknesses of 5mm -50mm and can be bonded to any thickness.
What sizes does it come in?
2mX1m sheets or custom cut and drilled at the factory.
What is a fire rating?
Fire rating classifies building materials for their ability to withstand heat and fire.
Is it easy to cut and drill on site?
Yes – 500 series is easy to cut and drill on site.
Does Armatherm provide cutting and drilling?
Yes. Armatherm will cut and drill according to the connection details.
How strong is the 500 range?
The range is from 2N/mm2 – 18.5N/mm2
Does it crush over time?
When specified properly, 500 will not crush over time.
What is the compressive strength on 500 polyurethanes?
500 Series from 500-160 (2N/mm2) , 500-250 (4.4N/mm2) 500-320(6.8N/mm2), 500-490 (18.5n/mm2) The lower the compression strength, the higher the R-value.
Contact us today to find out more or request a quote.