Thermal Barrier vs. Ignition Barrier: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to making sure your construction projects meet code for fire protection, it’s important to be informed about the products available to you. This is especially true as  combustible spray polyurethane foam is becoming the top insulation choice in both residential and commercial construction. A fire-protectant  paint or coating is necessary to keep your building safe and code compliant.

Here at No-Burn, we offer several high-performing solutions. Read on to learn more about our code-compliant thermal and ignition barriers for fire protection.

Code compliant fire protection for every application

No-Burn offers both thermal and ignition barriers, manufactured in compliance with ISO 9001, and designed with professional installation in mind. Application is simple. One coat is all you need to meet code for compliant fire protection. Depending on the individual code requirements for occupied or unoccupied spaces, we’ve got you covered with our line of intumescent coatings for spray polyurethane foam insulation.

What is a thermal barrier and when do I need to use it?

All building codes require that spray polyurethane foam (SPF), with some exceptions, needs to be separated from a building’s interior by an approved thermal barrier, such as No-Burn Plus ThB.

A thermal barrier is used to protect from fire in an occupied space, such as an extension of residential living space, a commercial property, or attics and crawl spaces where storage is intended . Thermal barrier material is often more thickly applied than an ignition barrier coating, which we’ll discuss later, and placed on the interior facing side of the  insulation in  the occupied space.

A coating of No-Burn Plus ThB provides an approved thermal barrier required to meet code, including the IBC®, IRC® and NFPA Life Safety 101 code. Our thermal barrier passes the  burn tests for code compliance and applies to a variety of foam insulation brands. Non-toxic, water-based, and low-VOC, makes this a convenient, cost-effective solution for your construction project.

What is an ignition barrier and when do I need to use it?

One exception to the requirement of a thermal barrier, is in an unoccupied space, such as attics or crawl spaces where mechanicals may be present. It’s important to note that the space must be used only for servicing mechanicals or utilities and not for or intended for storage.

An ignition barrier is used to provide protection from fire in these types of unoccupied spaces. The ignition barrier is installed to make spray polyurethane foam insulation resist ignition. When exposed to heat and flame, the ignition barrier expands and creates a char-barrier that protects treated surfaces  from fire.  No-Burn Plus XD or No-Burn Plus ThB are  intumescent coatings which have been tested and approved as  top choice ignition barriers to coat a variety of the most popular spray polyurethane foam insulation brands.

Now that you know more about  athermal barrier and ignition barriers including differences, request a quote from one of our specialists and learn how No-Burn can help meet your project specifications.