What is a Thermal Break?
A thermal break occurs when a specific element (the frame of a window, for example) has a higher U value transmittance than the adjoining elements (the walls). In turn, the heat, which always looks for the easiest escape route, tends to escape through these components.
This occurs mainly when working with highly conductive materials such as aluminium.
The Thermal Break was created precisely to reduce this transmission of temperature between the inner and outer sides of a building. This is achieved by preventing the different sides of the conductive material (aluminium) from coming into contact with each other.
Therefore, a very low conductive material is inserted between both sides.
Advantages of using the Thermal Bridge Break:
- Energy saving: By avoiding temperature transmission, consumption in air conditioning (either hot or cold) is reduced. This allows for more efficient buildings and a reduction in CO2 emissions.
- Glass condensation reduction: In cold weather, where the external temperature is very low and the relative humidity indoors is high, the phenomenon of condensation occurs on the inner profiles.
Thermal Break in the T7000
The main advance in this range has been the development of an innovative system with which it has been possible to design the first retractable roof series on the market equipped with true Thermal Break. A great technical improvement thanks to which a U value of 1.4w/°m2C can be achieved, an unprecedented result in the retractable roof market.
In addition, the brand's R&D+i department continues to work on reducing this value even further.
How do we get a U value of 1.4w/°m2C?
To achieve this, a longitudinal Thermal Break is created to cover all the points of contact between the indoor and outdoor profile. Let's look at these points in detail:
- Addition of polyamide inside the profiles of panels: to avoid contact between the inner and outer sides of the panels, which are separated by a very low transmittance polyamide.
- Polyurethane foam (PUR) filling in the profiles: the polyamide inside the profiles forms a gap that is filled with Polyurethane Foam to reduce transmittance.
- Addition of polyamide between the panels: as it is a staggered system in which panels are hidden one under the other, polyamide is added on the outer side of the panels to avoid direct contact between them.
- Addition of polyamide between the rails: as in the previous case, this is a staggered system, therefore, the break has been designed by inserting polyamide profiles between the different aluminium rails to avoid contact between them. In this way, the break extends to the entire system and not just to the roof panels.
How does polyamide influence thermal insulation?
Traditionally, Thermal Break in aluminium profiles is obtained by inserting polyamide insulating rods reinforced with 25% fibreglass. This material has a conductivity almost 800 times lower than that of aluminium, creating a continuous isolated barrier that prevents heat transmission.
How does Polyurethane Foam (PUR) influence acoustic insulation?
Polyurethane Foam is a synthetic, duroplastic, highly cross-linked, and non-fusible material characterised by its high resistance to thermal and acoustic transmittance.
It has a high insulating capacity due to the low heat conductivity of the foaming gas in the closed cells. This represents a 25% improvement compared to the average of other products used in thermal insulation.
When the installation of a retractable roof with Thermal Break becomes interesting
Taking into account the advantages mentioned above, this system is perfect for:
- Reducing the U Value, energy loss and, therefore, energy consumption and environmental impact.
- Attenuating the acoustic impact.
These two premises make this type of enclosure especially suitable for businesses focused on leisure and hospitality.
Pubs, restaurants, hotels and other businesses in this category make large investments to guarantee their clients' comfort (in heating, air conditioning, smoke vents...), which is why looking for solutions that reduce this cost will be highly profitable. In addition, reducing sound for a more comfortable atmosphere is also key in this type of business. That's why our retractable roof from the T7000 series is particularly interesting for these cases.
The same properties must be taken into account for the walls. It makes no sense to install a retractable roof with a thermal break and glass curtains because all the insulation offered by one system is lost in the other.
The best combination as recommended by the brand would be Airclos bi-fold doors with Thermal Break such as the S110 RPT and S112 RPT series.
Other potential applications are indoor patios or indoor pools. In these applications, the system is often completely surrounded by walls which guarantee the enhanced benefits of the glass. In addition, these are usually businesses that generate a lot of noise, so reducing noise transmission is also important, especially in residential areas.