ACHRNEWS

Taking A Hard Look At Duct Innovations

February 11, 2003
Ductmate Industries showed its products in action, as several large ducts were suspended above the booth with the company's new mechanical system hanger called the Clutcher.
CHICAGO — An incredible number of duct products were on display at the 2003 Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo). The AHR Expo also handed out its Innovative Awards to several manufacturers of duct products.

One manufacturer receiving an honorable mention award was Lindab (Stamford, Conn.). The company received the award for its design software application, “CADvent.” CADvent is a full-featured AutoCAD drive software application that consolidates all the tools required for drafting, engineering, estimating, and presenting HVAC duct systems into one professional package.

Victor Coppola, project manager, Lindab, was also eager to talk about the company’s other new venture, which is an exclusive partnership with AK Coatings Inc. (Middletown, Ohio). Lindab will manufacture its ductwork with AK Coatings’ AgION™, a silver ion-based compound de-signed to suppresses the growth of bacteria, molds, mildew, fungi, and other microbes.

“All our products are now available with AgION. It’s also possible to coat registers with AgION,” noted Coppola. He added that by combining AgION with Lindab’s “SPIROsafe” duct system, the industry now has a cost-effective solution that suppresses the growth of mold, installs up to 25 percent faster, and is guaranteed to meet ASHRAE and SMACNA’s Leakage Class 3.

AK Coatings noted that AgION antimicrobial steel compound has been registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for HVAC systems. The company also announced that it has become partners with Carrier (Syracuse, N.Y.), which will use AgION in all of its top air-handling unit line. Carrier’s 39M Aero air-handling unit will be available with AgION as an integral material for its prepainted steel inner liner and as a factory option for all Racan-Carrier custom air-handling units.

SEMCO Inc. (Columbia, Mo.), a manufacturer of spiral duct and fittings, announced its new partnership with Alistagen (New York), creators of the new Caliwel antimicrobial surface coating. This partnership gives SEMCO the rights to market a new version of the coating specifically designed for the interior surfaces of HVAC systems.

SEMCO spokesperson Alis Yeterian noted that Caliwel is an antimicrobial surface coating that is designed to resist the growth of common microorganisms, such as odor-causing bacteria, mold, mildew, algae, and fungi. According to the company, Caliwel uses calcium hydroxide, which is a naturally occurring mineral, as well as Bi Neutralizing Agent (BNA), which protects the calcium hydroxide and prevents it from reacting with carbon dioxide. Together, the agents create a contact surface that inhibits the growth of microorganisms, the company stated.

Pam Nelson of Simpson Dura-Vent shows off the company's new locking device.

My Ducts Are Sealed

Hardcast (Wylie, Texas) introduced a new indoor/outdoor duct sealant called Foil-Grip 1402 181 BFX. This UL 181-listed duct sealant on a roll offers HVAC contractors a means of sealing ducts for both the interior and exterior of any building.

Foil-Grip is a pressure-sensitive duct joint and general-purpose rolled sealant that provides an instant water-resistant grip to sheet metal, duct board, flex duct, PVC-coated duct, and duct wrap vapor barriers, according to the company. Produced with a mill-finish aluminum substrate in conjunction with a butyl adhesive/sealant, Foil-Grip is designed to work well in all applications, the company said.

Lewis & Lambert (Haltom City, Texas) exhibited its new water-based duct sealant, LL WBDS. The company said that LL WBDS is a smooth, water-based, premium quality, UL-listed, high-velocity duct sealant for commercial and residential use. The product may be used to seal metal joints on air ducts where a smooth finish is desired. Or, it may be used to seal connections on flexible duct or fiberglass duct board.

The company said that LL WBDS is intended for use on duct systems that do not exceed 15 inches water column pressure. LL WBDS is crack and peel resistant, mildew resistant, nonflammable, sag resistant, and provides excellent dry adhesion, the company states.

McGill AirSeal Corp. (Grovesport, Ohio) unveiled its new Uni-Butyl gasket tape to complete its line of duct sealants and adhesives. Uni-Butyl is a 100 percent solid cross-linked butyl gasket tape designed for use on four-bolt flange connector systems. The company said it is non-hardening and has excellent adhesion to several different types of metal surfaces. McGill AirSeal also announced that it is now possible to place requests for quotations online. Powered by Thomas Register, the new online ordering service is located at www.mcgillairseal.com.

Tim Rothgeb of Selkirk Metalbestos discusses the company's new AL29-4 double-wall special gas vent.

Looking Up

One of the more unusual booths at AHR Expo was inhabited by Ductmate Industries (East Monongahela, Pa.). This booth showed the company’s product in action, as several large ducts were suspended above the booth with the company’s new mechanical system hanger called the Clutcher.

Mark Smith, marketing manager, Ductmate, stated that the Clutcher can be used on a variety of mechanical systems and is quite a labor-saving device. In addition, the Clutcher is made of casted steel, with no plastic parts, which could fail during a fire. The Clutcher is available in a variety of sizes for different weights.

“It’s easy to adjust the height of the mechanical system by hand after installation, and the release mechanism is built into the system,” noted Smith.

Ductmate also exhibited the EZ-Lock wire rope beam clamp, which was designed to eliminate the need for a heavy threaded rod. The Ultimate Door, a UL-rated grease duct door, which is designed to reduce installation time, was also introduced.

Paramount Concepts Ltd. (Springboro, Ohio) introduced the Paramount J, which was designed to offer a fast and adaptable solution for supporting flexible duct. President Michael Pratt said, “Current systems such as straps and wire are often difficult to install and can reduce airflow quality by causing crimps in the flexible duct.”

The Paramount J is made of plastic, so installers simply attach it to joists, then place the flexible duct in the smooth, 3-in. wide surface.

The second product is “The Paramount H,” which is a system for quickly installing residential registers. According to Pratt, “Contractors will no longer have to incur the time and cost of assembling register brackets on-site. Installation time for each register is reduced from minutes to seconds.” The Paramount H is now available in both a 4- and 6-in. wide frame and can extend from 8- to 14-in. in length.

Metal-Fab Inc. (Wichita, Kan.) held a press conference to announce its new UL classification of zero clearance for its factory-built Series 4G grease duct. The zero clearance to combustibles means the Series 4G grease duct is allowed for installation in restricted areas.

Shaun Ray, director of engineering, Metal-Fab, noted that Series 4G is the first and only grease duct enclosure system approved by UL as a 3-hour rated/zero clearance to combustible grease duct. He added that to obtain this approval, numerous vigorous tests were performed.

Metal-Fab’s Series 4G grease duct is constructed of a round double wall with 4-inches of high-density ceramic fiber in between the walls. The inner wall, or flue, is made of 20-gauge 304¼316 stainless steel. The outer wall, or integral chase, is made of a 24-gauge aluminized stainless steel. Sections are connected by a flange/V-band connection.

Thermaflex (Abbeville, S.C.) stated that its M-KC flexible duct is now Greenguard certified. The company said that M-KC is the first and only flexible duct to earn this IAQ evaluation acceptance. The Greenguard certification program looks to battle indoor air pollution by reducing it at the source. Greenguard-certified products are monitored quarterly for low emissions and the products are fully retested on an annual basis.

The company also stated that M-KC flexible duct now has improved insulation and other materials for better IAQ performance and that the duct now comes with a 10-year warranty. M-KC also has improved airflow with a heavy spring steel solvent-welded wire helix, which won’t shrink, collapse, or separate, the company said.

William Hamlin Jr., president of Hamlin Sheet Metal Co. (Benson, N.C.), discussed his company’s new Wedge self-sealing round duct connector system. Hamlin noted that the Wedge is a self-sealing spiral duct connector system that minimizes the risk of air leakage within an operating duct system. When installed properly, the company stated leakage class 3 performance can be achieved.

“When the Wedge system fittings are inserted into the spiral duct sections, the wedge-shaped gasket compresses as the fitting is slid into the duct. The compression of the gasket against the inner wall of the duct section creates a continuous air seal around the wall of the duct,” stated Hamlin.

SlimDuct (Edison, N.J.) featured its new line of specialized hardware for the installation of ducted split and mini-split air conditioning systems. SlimDuct is a range of specially designed extruded PVC ducting that conceals line sets, wiring, and condensate drain pipe used in all split air-conditioning installations.

UV resistant and easy to install, SlimDuct “SD Series” improves appearance, permits easy access for testing, and protects linesets, wiring, and condensate drain pipe from the elements, vandalism, and pest damage, the company stated.

Available in four sizes, the SD Series features a comprehensive range of extruded PVC ducting and molded plastic fittings designed to enable the contractor to quickly and easily install any lineset arrangement on any size air conditioning system.

Victor Coppola of Lindab describes the company's new antimicrobial coating for ductwork at the show.

Venting Solutions

Selkirk Metalbestos (Dallas) introduced its AL29-4 double-wall special gas vent. Tim Rothgeb, director of marketing, Selkirk, noted that the gas vent is designed for high-efficiency condensing boilers and tankless water heaters.

“The AL29-4C vent also allows you to install in tighter places,” said Rothgeb. “In addition, it cuts installation time by about 60 percent.”

The AL29-4C vent meets all UL requirements and has a built-in mechanical locking band and gasket, Rothgeb said. The gas vent system with built-in gaskets is designed for use with Category II, III, and IV gas-fired appliances.

Hart and Cooley Inc. (Holland, Mich.) exhibited its new flexible Type B gas vent connection system. The company said the system saves time by eliminating the inconvenience of returning to a jobsite to connect appliances after they are delivered.

The new vent connection system features a factory-installed connector that attaches directly to the appliance draft hood.

The flexible connector is available in a single-wall gas vent connector model or as a double-wall gas vent segment model for unconditioned spaces. The connector or segment is snapped into place with a patented locking-ring system.

Pam Nelson, marketing communications manager, Simpson Dura-Vent (Vacaville, Calif.), discussed the company’s new locking device, which is located on two sides of its duct. Contractors only have to push in one side of the duct in order for the lock to work. “Twist locks have always been efficient, so now there’s a choice of either the locking devices or not,” said Nelson.

Simpson Dura-Vent is also planning a new product line introduction later this year: stainless steel flex duct for relining chimneys and for oil-fired appliances.

ProTech Systems Inc. (Albany, N.Y.) launched the FasNSeal W2 AL29-4C direct vent system. The company said its FasNSeal is the first vent system with built-in gaskets designed for high-efficiency gas heaters where cool flue gases are vented under pressure. The company’s FasNSeal AL29-4C direct vent system is now UL listed in commercial sizes through 16 inches in diameter.

The company also announced expansion plans to double the size of its existing facility from 9,000 to 21,000 square feet. The launch of the company’s Web site (www.protechinfo.com) was also announced at the AHR Expo.

Publication date: 02/17/2003