Balco MetaBlock™: The Economical Alternative to Classic Fire Barrier Systems Published December 15, 2015
Balco MetaBlock fire barrier

Balco, the industry leader of expansion joint fire barrier systems, recently introduced a new intumescent fire barrier designed to be used in conjunction with Balco’s CE SERIES™ Expansion Joint Systems.  MetaBlock™ is a two, three, or four-hour rated fire barrier, composed of a proprietary intumescent material that allows for easy installation with no mechanical fasteners required.  Best of all, splices and transitions are easily accomplished on-site, cutting installation time in half!

Balco fire barriers protect expansion joint openings by dynamically continuing the fire-rated construction design elements throughout the structural separation – allowing for thermal and seismic movements, and fire ratings up to four hours.

Extruded silicone compression seals combined with an intumescent fire barrier are an excellent alternative to pre-compressed foam seals.

The extruded silicone compression seals can be shipped in lengths of 100 to 200 feet or more, so in most cases minimal or no splices are required in a high-rise building exterior or tall atriums.  These seals are also more flexible than pre-compressed foam – allowing for a wider range and more forgiving installation due to uncontrollable field conditions.

Why Choose the MetaBlock™ by Balco?
-More economical
-Easy to install
-Fewer splices than foam seals
-Very forgiving for construction variances

MetaBlock™ also features:
-Joint sizes from 1” to 4”
-Variable depth installations
-Single side or double side installations
-Water tight joints for exterior applications
-+/- 50% seismic movement
-UV resistant silicone
-Tested to UL 2079 standards
-Comes in all DOW 790 colors

Above content provided by Balco

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of Balco’s Fire Barrier catalog, please visit

In this publication, Balco focuses on their fire barrier product offerings, as well as providing valuable technical information and presenting the features and benefits of the different systems available.

For further technical reading regarding expansion joints and fire barriers, check out the article “Expansion Joint Assemblies for High-Rise Construction” in the Fall 2015 issue of LIFE SAFETY DIGEST, available at

LIFE SAFETY DIGEST is a quarterly publication of the Firestop Contractors International Association (FCIA), an organization dedicated to proper design, installation, inspection, and maintenance of firestop systems.  They provide technical information, educational opportunities, qualification, and additional resources to contractor members and the general public.

“Expansion Joint Assemblies for High-Rise Construction” discusses the unique challenges of high-rise building design and the factors that need to be considered before choosing the best expansion joint for the circumstance.  The types of fire barriers are explained in detail, discussing the materials available and the components required for a fully articulated fire barrier expansion joint system.

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