It's all about minimizing energy use.
Achieving desired thermal performance from a steel stud wall requires an understanding of how heat moves through such a wall. The key is in understanding the thermal properties of steel and how this affects the thermal properties of the wall system as a whole.
Steel is a very good conductor of heat. The R-value of steel varies with its precise makeup, but a representative value is about R-0.003 per inch, according to the ASHRAE Fundamentals Handbook.
The very low R-value of steel means that heat moves through it almost effortlessly. Heat always looks for the path of least resistance.
Even small amounts of steel can transport large amounts of heat from one place to another. This property has serious consequences in the real-world performance of steel stud walls. Typical steel stud wall design places batt insulation between the studs, which are then sheathed with other low R-value materials like gypsum board. This results in an uneven thermal distribution over the wall. The steel studs act as thermal short circuits, where heat moves rapidly around the batt insulation, reducing the system's thermal performance.
But you can get more value from your wall with continuous insulation.
Ready to make your mark? We'll do our level best to answer your questions.