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Radiant Barrier Foil vs. Metalized

Basically, there are two different types of double-sided radiant barrier products in the marketplace:

  • the oldest and most proven effective version is created by taking two sheets of 99% pure aluminum and laminating them to a middle substrate or "scrim" material creating what is known as a radiant barrier foil version,
  • the newer version is created by applying a very thin reflective coating (typically 99% liquid aluminum) to poly film creating what is known as a metalized radiant barrier version.

We offer both radiant barrier types because each offers slightly different characteristics that some consumers prefer over the other.

History of Different Versions

The newest metalized radiant barrier version was introduced to the radiant barrier industry recently as a way to meet the newest fire test requirements adopted by the ASTM. When the new test methods were initially introduced, the radiant barrier foil products in the marketplace failed the new fire test.  The newly created metalized radiant barrier PASSED the new fire test and thus became the new industry standard.

Shortly thereafter, we were able to manufacture a new foil radiant barrier that passed the new ASTM fire test and were happy to bring this much loved product version back into the marketplace thereby giving us two different radiant barrier products for our customer to choose from.

Quick Differences Between FOIL and METALIZED

Cross-section of Layers
Reflectivity of Radiant Heat  97% 95%
How It Feels feels and behaves like kitchen foil feels and behaves like reflective potato chip bag
Durablity excellent - cannot be torn excellent - cannot be torn
Results after Crumpling into Ball stays crumpled wants to open back up and lay flat
Shop our Xtreme radiant barrier


When determining which product to use, it's really just a personal preference at this point as both our metalized and foil are both excellent quality products that reflect 95-97% of radiant heat, are extremely durable and pass the required fire test.