Difference Between Radiant Barrier Foil vs. Metalized
Radiant barriers and reflective insulations must have a
highly reflective surface to be effective. In general, there are two ways of
creating a reflective surface.
The oldest and most proven method of creating a reflective
product is to use an actual thin sheet of aluminum which is laminated to a
substrate or “scrim” material. These products are typically called FOIL as they
use a foil type material.
The other method which is fairly new to the radiant barrier
industry creates a reflective surface using a metallization techniqe. This
method of metallization is a process which applies a very thin reflective
coating (typically 99% liquid aluminum) to the outer layer. Essentially it is a
reflective paint that is sprayed to the outer layer of the barrier.
This new method of metallization was introduced to the
radiant barrier industry recently as a way to meet the newest fire test
requirements adopted recently by the ASTM. When the new test methods were
initially introduced, the FOIL products failed the new test. It was then found
that using a metallization process would allow the product to pass the testing.
However, we've recently developed a FOIL product that PASSES the new fire test
and does so with a perfect 0 flame spread as does our metalized version.
Our metalized products have more of a “plastic” feel to
them. Our foil products feel more like holding a thick sheet of aluminum with
a rigid firm feel.
When determining which product to use, it's really just a
personal preference at this point as both our metalized and foil are both
excellent quality products that reflect 95-97% of radiant heat, are
extremely durable and pass the required fire test. We have users that love
both versions of our products.
For more details, please review the detailed product
specifications for each product.