What is ArmorWall?

ArmorWall Structural Insulated SheathingTM is an innovative building enclosure system used in commercial and multifamily buildings that combines four traditional enclosure components into one.  ArmorWall’s innovative properties have quickly made it the preferred building enclosure system for architects, general contractors and installers needing to meet requirements for continuous insulation in present day building codes.  But, there’s much more to ArmorWall’s benefits than that.

ArmorWall was created to enable architects to pursue previously unattainable design features through its industry-leading structural strength, durability, continuous insulation properties, and fire, air and water-resistant capabilities.  ArmorWall requires just one installation revolution around a building in place of the traditional four, reducing costs and time to weather-in by weeks. Magnesium Oxide (MgO), a natural mineral with fire resistance properties, is fused onto the exterior face of each panel, replacing common gypsum and cementitious compounds that otherwise require additional coatings, time and cost.  ArmorWall’s innovative properties allow projects to meet and exceed continuous insulation, building code and green certification programs faster and more cost effectively.  

ArmorWall is manufactured in a near zero waste manufacturing plant in North Carolina.

What Makes ArmorWall Unique?

Due to the patented construction techniques of ArmorWall and its proprietary manufacturing process, ArmorWall effectively moves the structural face of the stud to the exterior face of the sheathing. Resulting densities of all component materials simply cannot be reproduced within most materials commonly found in the market today.  In order to accomplish this engineering feat, MaxLife’s design and engineering teams ventured completely outside of the normal material toolbox by using raw materials and innovative manufacturing processes not commonly found in North America’s current construction market.   

A prominent concern with traditional components is the attachment of claddings and veneers to the wall assembly once several inches, and beyond, of insulation has been attached to the exterior stud face.  Traditionally, this solution has been dealt with by large anchors attaching a girt assembly back to every stud face and then often requiring sub girts to attain the desired layout of the finished aesthetics.  This typically proves as a costly affair and often times pushes the budget to a point resulting in high-cost finishes to be yalue engineered out of the design in order to maintain the customer’s budget.  Doing so leaves designers and owners with a finished product that does not match the original intent of the project’s design.

What is ArmorWall Made of?

MaxLife utilizes Magnesium Oxide (MgO) sheathing on the exterior face of ArmorWall in order to gain attributes not commonly found today.  Magnesium Oxide is a mineral that is found in crystalline magnesite deposits all over the world.  Being that it is a mineral, and naturally occurring in geological deposits, it is inert and sustainable similar to gypsum compounds that design teams are accustomed to using for many years.  Magnesium Oxide is found in many common materials and products that may surprise you.  Some common applications include pulp and paper, water treatment, animal feeds, and even epsom salt.  One of the most prominent attributes of Magnesium Oxide is its fire resistance properties that are not found in many other naturally occurring materials.  MaxLife utilizes a Magnesium Oxide slurry mixture to replace the common gypsum and cementitious compounds. This, combined with proprietary scrim formulations, create a structural sheathing board that is unmatched in many of today’s performance categories. 

MaxLife’s industry innovation does not stop there.  From our beginning, we understood the contribution to the difficulty and labor from required continuous insulation compliance and the multiple steps required to assemble the commercial wall.  MaxLife developed another proprietary formula of spray polyurethane closed cell foam application that is injection molded at high pressure and temperature with bonding agents. MaxLife’s patented fusion technology consists of bonding the required continuous insulation layer to the developed sheathing layer to create a combined substrate that doesn’t delaminate as seen with other common insulated sheathing materials.  Production of this type, not within a lamination type application, allows the insulation to be formed at a density of twice that found in most foam insulation products in today’s market. 

Visit our System Components page for much more information.

What Makes ArmorWall Better Than Other Products?

Combining the two completely innovative layers of Magnesium Oxide and polyurethane insulation has the ability to effectively move the structural face of the stud layer to the exterior face of the sheathing. This advantage can sustain many loads that previously required the girt materials to carry through a low-density insulation and back to the stud and structural building elements.  However, now most cladding systems and components can be attached at any location on the sheathing face without the need and requirement to locate the studs beyond. This innovation has many benefits to the construction cycle including scheduling, construction administration and commissioning. These are simpler as the water-resistant membrane is no longer covered prior to third-party observation, and dry-in time is significantly reduced allowing for interior work to commence much sooner.  Further, the performance of the insulation materials is greater as now the insulation is protected having eliminated wind washing or air flow and reduced the UV degradation factor.

A Few Examples of ArmorWall Installations​

Click to view detailed Project Highlights, Case Studies and Customer Testimonials from ArmorWall projects across the U.S.

Hartford HealthCare Hospital Bliss Addition in Waterford, CT
Upper Broadway Office Building in Corpus Christi, TX
Life Time Fitness Biltmore in Phoenix, AZ
Multifamily Building at 44 North Beacon Street in Allston, MA

An ArmorWall Solution for All of Your Building Envelope Needs

Through continued innovation over the years, MaxLife has expanded utilization of our structural insulated sheathing in developing ArmorWall Non-Coated (NC)ArmorWall Vapor Permeable (VP)ArmorWall Non Permeable (NP)ArmorWall Perma Base (PB)ArmorWall Below Grade (BG) and ArmorWall Symmetrical Panel (SP). All variations of the ArmorWall series can be produced in many desired continuous insulation thicknesses to accommodate energy code, Passive House, fire ratings, NFPA 285 assemblies, and green accreditation guidelines.

ArmorWall is available in many sizes, thicknesses and combinations of the following base products:

ArmorWall Non-Coated (NC) is MaxLife’s original version of the structural insulated sheathing product that has been used within the marketplace for many years formerly under the tradename TigerWall™.  ArmorWall NC is a non-coated version of insulated Magnesium Oxide sheathing that is ready for field applied water-resistant membranes whether spray applied, self-adhered, or mechanically attached. ArmorWall NC is often used within projects which have difficult transitions of elements or within panelized construction factories where there is the need for components to be joined in-house all while retaining continuity during transport and erection. Other instances we find ArmorWall NC is installed within a conditioned factory setting using a self-adhered membrane (contact customer services for approvals of systems) applied in the clean and temperature-controlled environment. The lap is left exposed for final installation after the placement of wall assembly on the jobsite for clean and efficient performance installation free of cracking resulting from the movement.

ArmorWall Vapor Permeable (VP) and ArmorWall Non Permeable (NP) further advance the innovation of the structural insulated sheathing by adding a factory-applied water resistant membrane which can be either vapor permeable or vapor non-permeable. Factory application of the membrane creates greater control and uniform thickness to meet tested standards ensuring long-term performance.  Once installed, the sheathing is simply sealed at the seams, panel edges, and fastener heads with MaxLife’s provided polyether sealant to provide a uniform and efficient wall assembly. By combining the WRB, structural sheathing, and continuous insulation into a one-step application, a wall assembly is completed up to five times faster than traditional methods of commercial wall construction saving projects valuable time and dollars, both often hard to find on today’s fast paced jobsites.

ArmorWall Below Grade (BG) is designed to specifically treat the difficult transition detail of insulating the slab edge condition found within commercial construction.  ArmorWall BG is designed to go below grade with the integration of the factory-applied below-grade waterproofing material on three faces of the custom designed ArmorWall sheathing surfaces.  Stair stepping the BG application on the building façade with the proposed grade elevations provides continuity within the insulation layer placing it in the same plane as the above grade ArmorWall systems. On a deep foundation application, the insulation is protected from jobsite activity and ongoing landscaping activities by ArmorWall BG ensuring longevity of performance on the installed project.

ArmorWall Perma Base (PB) was designed to specifically handle the difficult application of continuously insulated direct applied masonry, stucco, and EIFS applications. These can be problematic as result of the many steps often requiring a secondary layer of sheathing to support the lathe layer in the assembly.  ArmorWall PB utilizes a cementitious sheathing material fused to the proprietary high-density spray foam found in other ArmorWall solutions.  However, where ArmorWall PB differs is that it is designed to be drainable with the incorporation of the integrated drainage plane onto the high-density spray foam rear face during fabrication. Unlike the other versions of ArmorWall that are designed to be installed directly to the stud face without any subsequent layers, ArmorWall PB is designed to be installed to a traditional gypsum and water-resistant membrane already placed on the wall face to make full use of that integrated drainage capability. Combining the continuous insulation material with a factory ready direct adhered sheathing face eliminates several steps required in traditional direct applied continuously insulated systems further saving jobsite time and dollars.  ArmorWall PB possess many approvals for finish materials applied directly to the face and with many manufacturers. We are continuously working with other manufacturers and their components adding them to our tried and tested assemblies. Please contact Customer Services for a full list of direct-application approved products and materials to ArmorWall PB

ArmorWall Symmetrical Panel (SP) is our newest addition to the ArmorWall series.  SP is unique because, unlike all the other ArmorWall products offered, ArmorWall SP has an additional layer of sheathing on the interior face encompassing the rigid foam insulation. ArmorWall SP panels can be factory coated or field covered similar to other ArmorWall panels in the series.

No Matter the Application, ArmorWall Has a Solution

Adhered stone on Delta Dry and Lath to ArmorWall VP on Metal Studs
ArmorWall Below Grade (BG) shown over metal studs
ArmorWall NP with adhered tile

Contact Us with Your Questions

Marketing is one thing, but scientifically proven data is another.  The ArmorWall series of products have been meticulously tested by some of the most prestigious materials labs and building scientists in the world.  Please have a look and feel free to contact us at any point to help answer any questions which may arise.