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November 1, 2021 - 3 min

Clip and Rail System: A More Thermally Efficient Solution

Published by Catherine Lavoie Canuel

There are many clip and rail systems available on the market delivering different levels of performance (thermal efficiency, structural capacity, etc.). The material used to manufacture the clip will impact its thermal conductivity and structural capability. For example, the presence of a thermal break will contribute to a more efficient system.

The weight of the exterior cladding will define the spacing of the clips. The heavier the cladding material, the more weight the thermal clips must support, which in part determines how many clips are necessary. The number or spacing of clips also impacts the thermal efficiency of the wall assembly. Thermal and structural designs are therefore linked.

The second edition of the BUILD BETTER Guide features the ACS THERMAL CLIPS from ACS Composite Systems, Inc. as SOPREMA’s preferred attachment system for panelized exterior cladding.

SOPREMA chose ACS THERMAL CLIPS as the solution for panelized exterior cladding because of their high performance and ease of installation. Due to their stainless steel composition and the contribution of a thermal insulator base, the ACS THERMAL CLIPS can provide up to 98% thermal efficiency. Additionally, the structural capacity of the clip can allow the use of fewer clips, further improving the thermal performance of the system. ACS THERMAL CLIPS can be easily used with all types of insulation, including rigid panels. Once installed, the ACS THERMAL CLIPS enable the installation of horizontal or vertical rails to match the requirements of the cladding system. No proprietary girts, channels or rails are required.

ACS THERMAL CLIPS create a highly efficient attachment system that reduces the effect of thermal bridging. Each clip is composed of a combination of stainless steel (known for robustness, low thermal conductivity, and high melting point) and the an insulation base which has a thermal resistance of R-3 per pad.