The Sonic Vent from DuctSox is said to offer the commercial/industrial market more options when it comes to a fabric duct system.
CHICAGO — Among the amazing array of duct products displayed at the 2003 Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) were a number of new and innovative products. One company garnering an honorable mention in the AHR Expo’s new Innovative Awards program wasBonded Logic(Chandler, Ariz.), which was recognized for its “UltraTouch” natural fiber duct liner.

Scott Tonkinson, marketing/advertising manager, Bonded Logic, stated that this thermally bonded HVAC insulation offers superior acoustic and thermal performance. “UltraTouch is made from natural fibers and contains no fiberglass, so it doesn’t itch or cause skin irritation,” he said.

The fibers used to manufacture UltraTouch offer sound absorption properties, and the airstream surface of the liner is overlaid with a durable, fire-resistant black facing for extra strength, the company said. UltraTouch is used primarily as an acoustical liner de-signed for HVAC sheet metal ducts to absorb unwanted noise from multiple sources. According to the company, the liner also reduces heat gain or loss.

New Mat-Faced Micro-Aire fiberglass duct board from Johns Manville offers superior durability compared to previous types of material, the company says.

Fiberglass Offerings

Johns Manville(Denver, Colo.) had several new offerings at its booth, and the company’s market manager of air handling systems, Eric Schakel, was available to talk about the products. “Our new Mat-Faced Micro-Aire fiberglass duct board offers easier handling and superior durability compared with the previous generation material it replaced,” he noted.

The product is faced with a unique fiberglass mat on the airstream side that makes it much tougher. In fact, the company said it withstands air velocities up to 5,000 fpm without any sign of damage or erosion. The tough mat increases the board’s resistance to damage during handling, fabrication, or installation. The duct board is available in cartons or on pallets in several sizes and thicknesses.

The second product introduced was Microlite formaldehyde-free duct wrap insulation, which uses a pliable acrylic binder in place of the traditional phenol-formaldehyde. The new binder produces a white duct wrap insulation that is more flexible and drapes more easily for faster, more efficient installation, the company said.

According to Schakel, “Contractors report the new wrap reduces the itching and irritation associated with conventional fiberglass insulation.”

CertainTeed (Valley Forge, Pa.) also had new fiberglass offerings. The company’s new UltraDuct Gold is a rigid board designed for HVAC ductwork. It has a new airstream facing that the company said will significantly reduce the amount of nuisance dust generated during fabrication.

UltraDuct Gold’s mat airstream facing also adds strength to the board while helping to improve handling. In addition, the board can handle systems operating at twice the velocity as the previous generation of CertainTeed standard duct board.

Also introduced was the SoftTouch duct wrap, which is softer to the touch, less irritating, and simpler to cut, the company said. The duct wrap is composed of glass fibers bonded together with a thermosetting resin. The company said that SoftTouch duct wrap insulation also helps control heat loss and condensation.

CertainTeed’s third product introduction was FlameChek Plus 2 duct insulation. This non-ceramic high-temperature insulation blanket now gives a two-hour fire rating in a single-layer application. It is designed for use in commercial and industrial passive fire protection applications.

Fabric Solutions

DuctSox(Milwaukee, Wis.) introduced the Sonic Vent, a linear vent diffuser, which the company said offers the commercial and industrial HVAC market a more cost effective, quieter, and more aesthetically pleasing fabric duct system. Compared to metal ductwork with registers, DuctSox said its fabric duct linear vents utilize mini-orifices, which offer a value-engineered cost savings and a laboratory-tested quieter airflow.

The company also introduced the new D-Shape system, a surface-mount system that transforms fabric duct into a low-profile, half-round HVAC air distribution solution for low ceiling applications. The D-Shape system can be installed onto drop ceilings and sheetrock surfaces and is ideal for offices, retail stores, and other low-profile spaces, the company said.

Insulation Innovations

Dow Chemical Company(Midland, Mich.) announced new innovations from its Mechanical Pipe Insulation business. These new innovations include capabilities for moisture management and several new support resources for customers, such as new literature and an installation video. The installation video, for Trymer polyisocyanurate pipe insulation, Styrofoam extruded polystyrene, and Saran vapor retardant film and tape, features guidelines for using these products in both hot and cold applications.

The company also highlighted its newly upgraded Web site,, which contains numerous new resources.

Publication date: 02/17/2003