At a Glance
Thermal-block insulation systems
As the old saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention, and an exceptional example of the expression’s verity is a patent-pending thermal-block insulation system known as Sealed ‘N’ Safe. Founded in 2007, Sealed ‘N’ Safe (SNS) is a company (and the name of its product) whose goal is to address the problem of heat loss in steel and metal buildings. “At the time, new US energy codes mandated the use of thermal block in conjunction with insulation batts above the purlins,” says Roger Cox, SNS’s vice president of marketing and sales. “We started looking at what was on the market and realized that you could not put a regular thermal block in a typical screw-down application of a metal building and comply with the AISI [American Iron and Steel Institute] and the ASTM [International] code regulations, so we decided to develop an alternative.”
Building a thermal block that could handle the forces and shear load, however, proved to be more complicated than the company thought. Primarily, the research and development team made every effort to comply with the AISI to ensure that the product would be compliant with the organization’s rigid standards and criteria. This meant that, after rigorous testing, SNS had to develop the manufacturing and product line to ensure the best R-values and durability for the product. Also, though, “because our thermal block product had never been made before, we had to not only develop the product but also the manufacturing site,” Cox says. “We literally had to build everything from scratch that had to do with the conception and delivery of Sealed ‘N’ Safe products.”
Top 5 Advantages of Sealed ‘N’ Safe
1. It creates a continuous insulation system when used with a customer’s own panels and standard fiberglass insulation.
2. It is currently the only thermal block in the world specifically designed for use over zee purlins and girts.
3. It creates no additional fire hazards from exposed foams or plastics.
4. It offers an all-metal-grid support system for better performance in case of higher temperatures.
5. It stops condensation at the top of the purlin, reducing overall moisture in the purlin cavity and allowing insulation to perform as designed.
The resulting product is a specially designed rigid-foam-insulated thermal block, a hybrid to the insulation panel. Exclusively designed for use in metal buildings, Sealed ‘N’ Safe has applications for a range of trades, including pre-engineered metal manufacturing, architecture, insulation lamination, and metal-building contracting. “We specifically developed this product to meet or exceed the new codes,” Cox says. “However, the added benefit is that in testing SNS thermal block with various insulation R-values, we found that just by using the product, it will increase the insulation performance by as much as double and in some cases even more. We have developed a suspended full-cavity insulation system that achieves an R-60 insulation rating, which is unheard of for a metal building.”
What makes Sealed ‘N’ Safe different from other products is that the thermal block has metal cladding on both sides. When used with traditional fiberglass insulation and specially designed fasteners, Sealed ‘N’ Safe can create a continuous insulation system covering the entire envelope of a metal building, including its standing-seam or screw-down roof.
“SNS is the only thermal-block system in the world specifically designed for use over zee purlins and girts that can handle the forces and the shear loads that happen when metal expands and contracts with a barring roof load,” Cox says. “SNS also carries a class-A fire rating and flame spread of 25. Because the insulating product is 95 percent encased in 24-guage metal cladding, it reduces flame exposure.”
Sealed ‘N’ Safe is also working on new introductions to the line, but, for now, it is content with offering an affordable insulation option in a special niche of the construction market. “SNS’s structural properties allow it to more than handle the issues that surround metal-building construction,” Cox says. “There is no other product on the market like this one.” ABQ