What is a thermal barrier?


A thermal barrier is a term used to describe any given materials ability to effectively prevent the transfer
of heat from one environment to another. In most cases we are simply talking about trying to keep
outside air out of a building and inside air from escaping the building.
This ability is typically measured in terms of R-value. That is to say, how well a material prevents heat
transfer as measured in a laboratory setting. R-values are usually provided as a general reference point
to determine which insulation material is theoretically superior.
However, R-values don’t take into consideration real world conditions such as air-transfer due to air
leaks or even due to the fact that the material itself allows air (and thus hot and cold) to penetrate
through its boundary.
Not to worry.
Spray foam is such a technologically superior material that it boasts higher R-values, both in the lab and
in the real world (effective R-value). This is due to its unique expansive properties which allow it to fill in
every nook and cranny throughout your entire structure and its air-impenetrable membrane. These two
features combine to effectively prevent all forms of air transfer, thereby creating the ideal thermal