New ASTM Standards for Radiant Barrier Burn Test Put Contractors at Risk
08/26/2010

Until now, radiant barrier products that help keep the sun’s infrared heat from penetrating through attic space have been made mostly of aluminum foil. Those products now are being replaced by metalized film that meets stringent new fire testing standards imposed by ASTM International, a global materials testing organization. A leading manufacturer says contractors and homeowners who install the older foil materials may find themselves in violation of building codes being written that reflect the new ASTM standards.

Online PR News – 26-August-2010 – – Arlington, Tex. – Radiant barrier materials that do not meet new fire safety standards developed by ASTM International could put homeowners and contractors who install them on the wrong side of the law, says a leading manufacturer.

Luke Rogers, technical director for Innovative Insulation, Inc., said his company formerly manufactured its radiant barrier products from metal foil, but has switched its entire line to metalized film to meet the tough new ASTM standards for surface burning characteristics.

“ASTM standard 2599 has brought about a sea change in the radiant barrier industry,” Rogers said. “Foil insulation now must be tested the same way it is most often installed, without any external support. When tested that way, no foil radiant barrier product passed the test.”

Foil insulation now must be tested the same way it is most often installed without any external support. When tested that way no foil radiant barrier product passed the test.

Rogers said the new generation of products, made of plastic film sprayed with a metal coating, meet or exceed ASTM standards for surface burning, as tested by ASTM standard E2599. Foil insulation products tested showed they reach combustion point and actually make a fire worse. The new metalized film products are designed to melt quickly, thus reducing overall combustibility.

ASTM E2599 now is the new industry standard, which will be reflected in the 2012 editions of building codes published by the International Code Council. Rogers said previously installed metal foil products will be grandfathered, but contractors and do-it-yourself home owners who install foil insulation radiant barrier products now may be exposing themselves to future liability risks.

ASTM standards are adopted by other organizations, such as the International Residential Code, International Building Code, International Energy Conservation Code, Energy Star and others. All Innovative Insulation products are ASTM-certified with Class 1/Class A ratings for fire and smoke tests.

“Foil products now are classified as Class C/Class 3, which means they are unacceptable and do not meet code,” Rogers said. “Should a home burn that has foil insulation installed after the change in building codes, the radiant barrier product could be considered as contributing to the fire, regardless of how it started. That is a risk homeowners and contractors can avoid by installing the new Class A/Class 1 metalized film product instead.”

Innovative Insulation reengineered its entire product line from foil to metalized film over the past two years when the company’s leadership saw the coming changes. Rogers said Innovative provides free consultations to contractors and do-it-yourself homeowners who want a better understanding of the new code requirements.

About Innovative Insulation, Inc.

Innovative Insulation, Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of radiant barrier products, has been serving homeowners and contractors since 1987. Innovative Insulation leads the industry in quality radiant barrier and reflective insulation, including the popular Super R™ line of products. Innovative Insulation is known internationally for the highest quality products and personalized customer service. For more information, please visit www.radiantbarrier.com.

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