SAN DIEGO — When Advanced Mechanical’s Jim Perez was given the opportunity to field test a new generation of fiberglass duct wrap that promised to be softer to the touch, less irritating, and simpler to cut, he was ready and willing to give it a try.

Advanced Mechanical, a Temecula, Calif.-based insulation contractor, was about to start installing duct wrap at the new Omni San Diego Hotel that is now under construction directly across the way from the new San Diego Padres ballpark. Perez, president of Advanced Mechanical, said he was confident that the improved wrap would be of the same quality — if not better — that he had come to expect from the manufacturer, CertainTeed (Valley Forge, Pa.).

After several months of use, Perez is convinced.

“My workers reported that the duct wrap produced less dust on the work site than other brands of wrap and was less likely to chafe the skin,” he said. “They also said it was easier to cut with a knife.”

The duct wrap in question is SoftTouch™, a fiberglass wrap that is formulated, according to the manufacturer, “to avoid the pitfalls of the previous generation of duct wrap, such as being prickly to the skin.” CertainTeed introduced the duct wrap at the 2003 Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating (AHR) Expo in Chicago.

“We were responding to contractors’ preference for easier, more comfortable handling of fiberglass duct wrap when we developed SoftTouch,” explained Dave Tomchak, CertainTeed mechanical insulation marketing manager.

So far, Advanced Mechanical, a seven-year-old company located about 50 miles north of San Diego which specializes in duct, pipe, and tank wrap insulation, has used the product on projects that have included Marriott hotels, GMAC and Qualcomm facilities, and installed in the Little Italy Towers in San Diego.

The Omni San Diego hotel, a 32-story luxury hotel scheduled to open in the spring of 2004, will be connected via pedestrian skywalk to the new Padres’ ballpark next door. The hotel is located directly across from the recently renovated San Diego Convention Center and adjacent to the historic Gaslamp Quarters.

For more information on SoftWrap, contact CertainTeed Customer Service at 800-233-8990.

Publication date: 09/15/2003