A thermal barrier is a material or product that prevents or delays the ignition of a flammable surface, such as foam plastic insulation or metal composite material, in the event of a fire. When a foam plastic insulation is left exposed within the interior of a building, it’s required to be separated from the interior of the building by an approved thermal barrier in accordance with chapter 26 of the 2018 International Building Code. Thermal barrier products can range from rigid boardlike systems to spray coating materials and may include other types of heat and fire shielding technologies.
To meet the requirements of NFPA 275, standard method of fire tests for the evaluation of thermal barriers, the thermal barrier is evaluated for two separate conditions. The first test is a temperature transmission fire test in accordance with the fire endurance test of UL 263. To comply with the integrity fire test portion of NFPA 275, a second evaluation is conducted in accordance with FM 4880 - Flame Retardants, UL 1040 – Standard for Fire Test of Insulated Wall Construction, NFPA 286 or UL 1715 - Fire Test of Interior Finish Material.
If you’re an architect or part of the regulatory community, finding a UL Certified thermal barrier that meets regulatory compliance is an easy way for you to have confidence in the safety of your project and community at-large. Your stakeholders can rest easily knowing the thermal barrier selected was tested and certified by UL. All certified thermal barrier systems are posted to Product iQ™ in the fire resistance directory for quick reference, while highlighting the certification allowances and limitations. UL Product iQ™ is our database of safety certification information that allows you to verify the UL Certification of a product, locate guide information, and search for alternative products that can be trusted. Certified companies are part of UL Follow-Up Services, which audits the thermal barrier production facility for quality and consistency of the thermal barrier material to determine continued compliance with our requirements.
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