University Student Union

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The architect for the new student union building on a Pennsylvania college campus originally planned to utilize thermal break pads to limit condensation in the building envelope. But, before construction began, Tnemec coating consultants introduced the firm to a more efficient way to combat this problem.

In Albany, New York, the project’s architect received information about Tnemec’s thermal insulating coating, Aerolon. This fluid-applied product – utilizing aerogel as an insulating additive – can be used in place of structural thermal pads on steel surfaces where thermal bridging is common. The architect recognized that the coating could reduce labor costs and application time in the field. University Student Union Image 1University Student Union Image 2University Student Union Image 3

“We had spoken to the general contractor about Aerolon, too,” explained Tnemec Representative Wally Bates with Del-Val Coating Consultants in Pennsylvania. “We explained the benefits of using the product as a non-structural thermal break to limit condensation and thermal transfer into the building envelope.”

Tnemec’s insulating coating helps keep surface temperatures above the dew point, which reduces condensation and inhibits moisture buildup inside walls. Aerolon can be applied to common thermal bridging areas, such as pass-through I-beams, fins, canopies or window frames, to effectively provide corrosion protection while being compatible with select fireproofing and ABV sealants.

“The architect and the contractor agreed that this solution presented them with the most benefits,” commented Bates. “They decided to apply Aerolon in the shop and some minor touch-up was completed later in the field.”

The coating was applied in the general contractor’s shop. Steel members for the building’s canopy first received a coat of Tnemec’s single-component, moisture-cured MIO/zinc-filled polyurethane primer, Series 394 PerimePrime, at 3.0 mils dry film thickness (DFT). The prime coat was followed by 60 mils DFT of Series 971 Aerolon Acrylic. Aerolon’s low odor and low VOC, water-based formulation allows for safe application in confined spaces.

The resulting application saved the project team significant cost, in both material and labor, and will provide the building with the performance they desired. The project used 30 gallons of Tnemec’s thermal insulating coating for the canopy steel.

project information

Project Location

Eastern Pennsylvania

Project Completion Date

July 2015


EYP Architecture & Engineering, Albany, New York

General Contractor

Zartman Construction, Northumberland, Pennsylvania

Field Applicator

Wenrich Painting, Ephrata, Pennsylvania