Metal-Fab spokesperson Scott Schmelzer said the company is introducing a new line of grilles and registers.

CHICAGO - It seemed that everywhere you looked at the 2006 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo), there were new duct, grille, register, and diffuser offerings. Crowds flocked to see everything from fabric duct to sheet metal and plastic grilles to custom-fabricated registers.

Air Balance ( highlighted its new FR fire/smoke dampers and SR smoke dampers, which maximize free area to minimize pressure drop. Spokesperson Mike Binkholder stated that the damper benefits include the highest free area of any fire/smoke or smoke damper on the market, as well as the lowest pressure drop in the industry.

AirConcepts ( introduced its new aluminum punkah louver, which is an architectural grille with a spherical core that can be adjusted to provide a jet or diffused air pattern. The company also displayed its new aluminum vortex diffuser, which has a diverter plate in the center of the unit to provide for a horizontal or vertical airflow pattern.

AirCraft ( displayed its new aluminum ceiling diffusers and sidewall registers, which the company says are nearly half the weight of conventional steel products. The diffusers and registers feature extruded aluminum construction and have mechanically locked and sealed joints for seamless appearance.

Airtec Products ( featured its new Model MVA reproduction antique-styled diffusers. The plastic diffusers have the look and feel of cast iron, without the high cost and weight. Available for 4-to 8-inch duct, the diffusers are scratch resistant, rustproof, and available in white or black.

Anemostat( showcased its new S-Vent premium security vent. The diffuser does not require a faceplate and is designed for use in prisons, jails, and psychiatric facilities. The company also featured its Model ECO spiral duct diffusers, which follow the arc of the duct.

Atco Rubber ( displayed its flexible duct systems in increased R-values. Spokesperson Keith Jordan stated that the company's flexible duct systems contain third-party verification, and their labels show they have been certified by Underwriters Laboratories and the Air Diffusion Council.

Barker Metalcraft ( highlighted its ability to manufacture individual custom grilles for high-end applications. Owner Ron Ked stated that he accepts individual orders for just about any type of grille, radiator cover, or other specialty metal products.

Builder's Best ( introduced its dryer vent outlet box. The self-trimming unit is 17 inches wide by 24 inches high and fits all 16 inch centers, 2 x 4 and 2 x 6 studs. The vent outlet box is designed to save space behind any dryer.

Decor Grates ( showcased its new solid wood flushmount floor receptacles. The solid receptacles have routed sides to work with tongue and groove hardwood strips and are unfinished, so they can match any floor. The company also introduced its registers for high-velocity systems, which are available in 13 different styles and finishes.

Deflect-O ( introduced its new plastic floor registers, which feature rounded corners and blades, and a flat surface for safety. Spokesperson Jeff Weber said the registers have a damper that operates easily, which results in a smooth adjustment for the desired level of airflow, as well as the ability to change air velocity without changing direction.

Marketing manager Mark Smith demonstrates how easy it is to use DuctMate’s Bullet Band connection system.

DuctMate( highlighted its new Bullet Band self-sealing round duct connection system. According to marketing manager Mark Smith, Bullet Band reduces installation time and costs, as it slides easily into the duct during installation. There's no need for sealants or gasketing, and it can be used for round or spiral ductwork.

DuctSox ( launched its new SG high-throw diffuser for air permeable fabric duct systems in high ceiling applications. The SG2 and SG3 are 2- and 3-inch diameter diffusers that are sewn into laser-cut orifices of DuctSox's antimicrobial fabric duct product, the Sedona-Xm. The SG2 and SG3 produce throws of 45 to 72 feet and 48 to 108 feet, respectively.

DuroDyne ( introduced Envirofab, which is a low-cost flexible duct connector fabric. Envirofab qualifies for use on green building projects and works well in IAQ applications where UV light is incorporated into the duct system. The company also introduced Dynalon, a polyester-based fabric that is coated on both sides, which is a new low cost substitute for Hypalon.

EZ-Flo ( featured its complete new line of high-quality steel air registers and filter grilles. Each is manufactured from high quality stamped steel, steel diffuser mechanism, powder coat finish, and individual packaging. The complete line includes two-, three-, and four-way registers, as well as ceiling diffusers, and floor registers.

Hardcast ( introduced its line of insulation adhesives. A choice of four different water-based adhesives is available, including Coil-Tack (low tack, coil line applications), Roto-Tack (low tack, mechanical roll coating systems), Booth-Tack (mid tack, spray booth applications) and Speed-Tack (high tack, spray applications). All of these products are also suitable for manual roll-on or brush applications. The new four-bolt duct connection system was also featured.

Knauf ( displayed its new KoolDuct system, which is a pre-insulated, high-performance air duct system for industrial and high-end commercial applications. The system is constructed with CFC-free phenolic foam board and patented aluminum flanges, the benefits of which include less weight, installation time, space, installed costs, and air leakage.

Ron Ken, owner of Barker Metalcraft, displayed some of the custom-made grilles in chrome, brass, and copper finishes.

JP Lamborn Co. ( featured its new AMBlue flex duct with enhanced antimicrobial properties. Spokesman Joe Jankowski stated AMBlue is the first insulated flexible duct with an inner core material expressly designed to resist mold fungus. The flex duct is available in thermal values of R-6 and R-8 and contains a blue color-coded core for easy identification.

Lindab ( rolled out its new residential duct system, Safe at Home. The system is supplied with factory installed, double-lipped, EPDM sealing gaskets. The gasketed system provides a tight fit and makes it easier on the installer, because it can be put together in less time, said marketing manager Jeff Whealton. The company also announced that it now offers its SPIROsafe® self-sealing duct fittings and pipes in a PVC coating. This option was previously available only in a non-gasketed product, SPIROvent®.

McGill AirFlow ( unveiled its new Uni-Fab fabric duct system, which is designed for commercial and industrial exposed duct applications. The duct is available in polyester (350°F) or polyethylene (150°) materials, in a wide range of colors, and is suitable for use in most environments.

Metal-Fab ( introduced its small diameter Corr/Guard condensing appliance vent, which is available in 3-, 4-, and 5- inch sizes. Corr/Guard features tool-free connection and a precision molded gasket. The company also announced it was entering the grille and register market. According to spokesperson Scott Schmelzer, they will have a one to two day lead time for the new grilles and registers.

Nomaco K-Flex ( launched its new K-Flex LS insulation systems. The elastomeric insulation is moisture, mold, and mildew resistant, fiber free, and reduces installation and maintenance. The company also exhibited its new IAQ-friendly, closed-cell, flexible, elastomeric, duct lining products.

Ruskin ( introduced its Model EME745, a 7- inch deep, wind-driven rain resistant louver, which spokesman James Livingston stated stops the rain without pressure drop. The company also displayed its new electronic air measuring station (EAMS) called the Scoop. The EAMS combines heated mass flow sensor and air scoop technologies to collect and report air measurements within 2 percent to 3 percent accuracy.

Selkirk ( displayed its new Horizon flat plate diffuser, which spokesperson Tim Rothgeb stated is a cleaner looking flat plate and comes in 6-, 8-, 10-, 12-, or 14- inch connections. Also featured was the company's new Direct-Temp direct vent system for gas appliances, which can also be used for pellet stoves. Direct Temp is two vents in one: The outer vent supplies fresh air, while the inner pipe allows exhaust gases to vent.

SPIRAmir Alliance ( showcased its new self-sealing spiral duct system. The patented system is a unique way to join round duct and fittings without the use of sealant or duct tape. SPIRAmir uses an o-ring gasket, which is not attached to the fitting, so it can rotate easily between two grooves placed on the SPIRAmir fittings.

Stamped Fittings ( featured its new 3- to 12- inch, galvaneal, 22 gauge paintable flangeless elbows. The flangeless elbows are continuously stitch welded on the throat and heel from end to end.

Thermaflex ( introduced its ProSeries commercial flexible duct that will not support mold and bacterial growth. Spokesperson James Lollis stated the ProSeries line has been awarded Greenguard certification. The ProSeries also features core materials that are strong and flame resistant.

Thermo Manufacturing ( displayed its new Snap Grilles for return airframes. The precision-molded white ABS grilles are designed for use with standard 1/2- or 5/8-inch drywall. Spokesman Leon Hershey demonstrated how the grilles snap perfectly into the company's Thermo-Frames, saving time and money.

Publication date: 02/13/2006