What Makes Quality Ductwork?

August 5, 2020

Small problems on a job can quickly add up to substantial impacts on productivity and cost for your customers. While the ductwork that carries materials and debris away from machinery isn't usually the highest priority, you know that the last thing manufacturers want to worry about is a failing ductwork system.

So, what goes into creating a ductwork system that's reliable and gets the job done?

It depends. Whether a ductwork system or component is for a manufacturer's rep or someone that needs a one-off solution for their machinery, the fit, materials, and construction of your ductwork always depend on the application.

Fit first

When to use rolled-lip ducting

clamp together ductworkIf you have a need for dry dust collection or particle extraction, rolled-lip ducting (or clamp together ducting), is most likely the highest-quality ductwork you can select. Because clamp together duct is a modular system, its benefits are threefold: it's often the fastest, most versatile, and most reliable ductwork you can use for dust collection applications. The pipe, gasket, adjustable sleeve, and clamp eliminate the need for exact measurements, cut, and weld ducting together. Its modular nature reduces installation by up to 70%, allows for adjustments even after installation, and creates a tight seal designed for long-term service. Although sometimes more expensive upfront, clamp together ductwork's versatility and durability will ultimately save time and money.

When to use airtight US Tubing

Some applications require a product line of ductwork that's beyond airtight —it needs to be mist-tight. Ductwork used to move oil mist, fine grain, harmful chemicals, or other minute particles as well as positive pressure systems requires a leak-free connection. In applications where leaking is not an option, an airtight ducting system is the best solution. Similar to its rolled-lip ducting counterpart, US Tubing systems are modular, adjustable, and durable. However, the v-shaped gaskets used in US Tubing systems surround the pipe, and when compressed by a torque-tightened clamp, create the ultimate, airtight seal.

Materials matter

When to use galvanized ductwork

unfinished ductwork on shelvesBecause galvanized metal ductwork protects against corrosion, it has become an industry standard used for a wide array of applications — from pneumatic conveying to dust extraction, and everything in between. The galvanization process strongly protects the sheet metal used for duct straights and fittings from rusting, making ductwork reliable for decades. Galvanized steel ductwork is available in a variety of gauges and diameters and is a suitable material for ductwork that:

  • Removes dust-contaminated air, wood chips, fumes, or lightweight chaff from a work environment
  • Is needed for a corrosive environment or outside where it’ll be exposed to rain.
  • Collects mist or "wet" air

When to use stainless steel ductwork

However, if you need to convey a corrosive or a reactive product, galvanized steel won't be enough. Because the raw steel is blended — not just coated — with an alloy that protects against rust and corrosion, stainless steel is even more resistant than galvanized metal. Stainless steel ductwork should be used when there's long-term exposure to corrosive materials or in applications with high chloride exposure, like when conveying off-gassing or chemical byproducts Although more expensive, stainless steel ductwork is also considered an "upgrade" in appearance and may be specified for that added feature alone.

When to coat your ductwork

Ductwork and fittings can also be powder-coated or painted to customize the look of your ductwork, but the appearance isn't the only benefit of coating your ductwork. Applying a special coating to the interior or exterior of ductwork can enhance its quality and performance. Coatings are a cost-effective option for ductwork conveying:

  • Abrasive materials: A coating of liquid Teflon® inside of the ductwork prevents damage from many abrasive or corrosive materials.
  • Sticky substances: Telfon® can also provide a nonstick surface that will be more efficient in conveying materials like ink, plastic, or adhesives.
  • Corrosive chemicals: Depending on the chemicals, powder coating, painting, or a variety of coatings can be applied to prevent reactive interactions with chemicals and the ducting.
  • High-temperature debris: Speciality coatings to add durability can be added to the inside of your ductwork.

laser welded ductworkConstruction counts

Laser welding technology "reinvented the wheel" for ductwork manufacturers and the quality of ductwork they could provide. Laser-welded seams on ductwork straights create a more accurate and consistent seam that improves the dimensional accuracy of the ductwork. On modular ductwork systems, this tighter-fitting ductwork is essential for ensuring tight fits and easy adjustments. Laser-welding the longitudinal seams on ductwork is estimated to be 90% faster than manual welding, and thus offers both quality and turnaround time benefits.

Quality Ductwork Combined with Expertise and Service

US Duct manufactures straights, elbows, and other fittings for extraction and conveying. While our ductwork and fabricated ductwork parts are made with the highest quality and made to fit your application, the Duct Guys are at the center of what makes US Duct a great partner.

Talk to one of our duct guys to get started with any of our many options for durable, modular, dependable ductwork.

Does your ductwork supplier make the cut?

Cover of Does your ductwork supplier make the cut? The ultimate guide to selecting the bestWhen it comes to selecting a ductwork vendor, find one that will make ductwork easy.

We know that choosing a ductwork vendor is a decision that you shouldn't take lightly, so we've put together the ultimate guide to selecting the best. It's 20+ pages of information on what to look for in a vendor — from the quality of their ductwork to the quality of their customer service.

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