Thermal breaks are used in aluminum windows to reduce heat transfer between the interior and exterior of a building. This helps improve the energy efficiency of windows by minimizing the conduction of heat through the metal frame. There are several materials commonly used as thermal breaks in aluminum windows: 

Polyurethane: 

  • Polyurethane is a popular choice for thermal break material due to its excellent insulating properties. 
  • It is inserted into the aluminum frame during the extrusion process and provides a barrier to heat transfer. 

Polyamide Strips (Nylon): 

  • Polyamide strips or thermal barrier strips are often used in aluminum windows. 
  • These strips are inserted into the aluminum frame, creating a thermal break and reducing the conductivity of the metal. 

Fiberglass: 

  • Fiberglass-reinforced polyamide is another option for thermal breaks. 
  • Fiberglass is known for its strength and low thermal conductivity, making it a suitable material for improving the thermal performance of aluminum windows. 

Expanded Polyethylene (EPE): 

  • EPE is a lightweight and cost-effective thermal break material. 
  • It is a closed-cell foam that provides insulation and is inserted into the aluminum frame. 

Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE): 

  • TPEs are flexible materials that can be used as gaskets or seals in aluminum windows to provide a thermal break. 
  • They offer good insulation properties and can be molded to fit specific profiles. 
Thermal Break Material

Selecting Thermal Break Material

When selecting thermal break material for windows, it’s important to consider not only its insulating properties but also its suitability for specific applications, such as steel connections. Structural thermal break material plays a pivotal role in minimizing heat transfer and improving energy efficiency in buildings. For windows, polyamide, polyurethane, or fiberglass are commonly employed to create an effective thermal break, enhancing R values and overall performance. 

If you’re seeking a DIY solution for high-temperature applications, it’s essential to explore materials that can withstand elevated temperatures while keeping structural integrity. Some may opt for spray-on thermal break material, providing a convenient and customizable application method. 

Understanding the thermal break material’s R values is essential for gauging its insulation capabilities. Manufacturers often provide this information to help consumers make informed decisions based on their specific needs. 

Whether you’re looking to retrofit existing windows or incorporate thermal breaks into new structures, the right choice of material ensures the best thermal performance, contributing to energy savings and environmental sustainability. Explore the diverse range of thermal break materials available to find the ideal solution for your windows and structural connections. 

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