Steve Campbell talks about Owens Corning’s new VaporWick pipe insulation.
ORLANDO, Fla. - Every year the International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) has a plethora of exhibitors showing their new duct products. This year was no different, as manufacturers proudly displayed their new ducts, duct liners, duct tapes, and various duct accessories.

American Metal Products ( introduced its Model EGS B-Vent Gripper Support, which features finger-type grippers that can support up to 30 feet of vent pipe. UL-listed as a support and a firestop, the Model EGS is offered in four sizes for vent diameters from 3 to 6 inches.

The company also introduced its AMPCO brand zero-clearance grease duct. This UL-classified grease duct provides zero clearance to combustibles by integrating the traditional fire-rated shaft and site-built grease duct into a compact, factory-built duct system.

ATCO Rubber Products Inc. ( highlighted its new Ultra-Flex flexible air duct, which is designed to be used in conjunction with systems using UV lamps. Marketing analyst Keith Jordan noted that UV lamps in air-handling systems can deteriorate the inner core of many nonmetallic flexible ducts, but Ultra-Flex can withstand the deteriorating effect of UV light. He also noted that the company has compressed its packaging techniques by 25 percent, making the products easier to stack in a warehouse.

Builder's Best ( featured its P-Tanium wide-mouth galvanized hood, which comes ready to paint. This hood is available in 3- and 4-inch diameters and accepts standard house paint. The company also introduced its eave vents, which spokesman L.G. Gottschalk stated are designed to go through the eave rather than through the roof. "This is a great savings for the contractor," he said.

CertainTeed ( introduced its ToughGard®2 textile duct liner. The booth had five stations at which specialists demonstrated features of the new liner. Tom Newton noted that the stations were intended to show attendees the liner's superior thermal and energy savings, acoustics and sound control, moisture resistance, cutability, and durability. "You can see for yourself how water beads up on the liner and hear how much less sound is generated in lined versus unlined duct," he said.

Deflect-o ( highlighted its dryer venting box. "This is the only one that's available that's one size fits all," noted Tom Bratton, vice president of sales and marketing. The venting box is easy to install and allows the dryer to sit 4 to 6 inches closer to the wall, the company said. It also improves dryer efficiency by ensuring a direct path between dryer and vent.

The Johns Manville booth featured a pressure test to illustrate that duct board is nearly leak-free when properly installed. (Photo by Nelson Moy.)
Dow Building and Construction( introduced its Trymerâ„¢ 25/50 system. The polyisocyanurate pipe insulation product has third-party lab listings of 25 for its flame spread index and 50 for its smoke developed index (up to and including 1.5-inch thickness). Components of the system include Trymer 2000 XP pipe insulation, Trycoatâ„¢ 400 fire-resistant coating, Saranâ„¢ 540 vapor retarder film, Ventureâ„¢ 3693 FLE/FR self-seal lap tape, and Saran 520 vapor retarder tape. Trymer is said to offer excellent thermal efficiency and is water and moisture resistant.

Ductmate ( announced that its Clutcherâ„¢ and EZ Lockâ„¢ wire rope hanging systems now conform to new International Code Council (ICC) guidelines. Ductmate's wire rope hanging systems are designed for the suspension of indoor static load HVAC mechanical systems.

The Clutcher features a sliding wedge design for positive connection and a tapered bore for easier installation. The company's Mark Smith noted that Ductmate's goal is to provide solutions for contractors and engineers: "Tell us your problem and let us go at it."

Ductsox ( introduced its Sedona-Xmâ„¢ antimicrobial treated fabric duct. Nick Paschke noted that the active antimicrobial agent protects the fabric from mold, fungus, and other microbial growths, while also reducing odors generated by microbial growths commonly found in HVAC ductwork. Sedona-Xm fabric is 12 percent stronger than Sedona and offers a matte exterior finish.

Duro Dyne ( highlighted its new generation of portable insulation fastening equipment. Built upon the PBFS pinspotter concept, the PBF-510 delivers more power, further away, with more control. Steve Martin noted that the new Multitap transformer allows the PBF-510 to deliver precise low voltage to the welding tip. The company also introduced the MF-12, a pinspotter with greater power and versatility. The MF-12 can weld pins from 1¼2 to 2 inches long on steel from 26 to 20 gauge.

Hart & Cooley ( introduced its Model RGS B-vent gripper support, featuring a single-piece design with finger-type grippers that can support up to 30 feet of vent pipe. UL-listed as a support and a firestop, the Model RGS is offered in four sizes for vent diameters from 3 to 6 inches. A spacer ring integrated on the bottom of the support plate helps ensure 1-inch clearance to combustibles.

Steve Martin of Duro Dyne explained the new generation of portable insulation fastening equipment.
Hardcast( introduced its Flex-Gripâ„¢ 55 duct sealant. This spray-applied duct sealant was created for sealing transverse and longitudinal duct joints, runouts, and fittings. The company now also offers a line of premium duct insulation adhesives for any application. The line includes Coil-Tackâ„¢, Booth-Tackâ„¢, Roto-Tackâ„¢, Speed-Tackâ„¢, Insta-Tackâ„¢, Seal-Tackâ„¢, and Travel-Tackâ„¢.

Ideal Tape Co. ( showcased its new Cold Weather blue acrylic tapes. According to Dale Langa, director of sales, the tapes are easy to work with thanks to a special formula blue acrylic adhesive that provides quick sticking for ease of application, as well as consistent long-term performance in temperatures from -25 degrees to 180 degrees F.

Johns Manville ( featured its fiberglass duct board. Spokesman Gary Caudill noted that fiberglass ducts are nearly leak-free when properly fabricated, a fact that was demonstrated in the booth with a dramatic pressure test. Fiberglass duct liners and duct board can also offer a cost-effective noise-control solution. Specialists in the booth also demonstrated modular duct construction, the technique of cutting fabricated duct sections into custom fittings.

McGill AirSeal ( showcased Uni-Thaneâ„¢ polyurethane sealant, a one-part, nonsag, permanently flexible sealant and adhesive. Brad McGill stated that the sealant is ideal for sealing indoor and outdoor joints with dynamic and thermal movement. The company also highlighted its Uni-Stripâ„¢ degalvanizing spray for use on roll-forming machines and press dies, and Uni-Foilâ„¢ HVAC tape, a pressure-sensitive tape with water-resistant adhesion to galvanized duct, flex duct, and fiberglass duct board.

Owens Corning ( introduced its VaporWick® pipe insulation. Rick Preciado noted that the wick material transports condensed water to the outside of the system, which keeps the fiberglass insulation dry. VaporWick is designed for below-ambient temperature applications in severe hot and humid operating environments.

The company also introduced its QuietZone® spiral duct liner, an acoustical and thermal insulation for round sheet metal ductwork and plenums. QuietR® duct liner was also on display; it now features an improved appearance, less dust, and an antimicrobial airstream surface, the company said.

Ductsox introduced its Sedona-Xm antimicrobial treated fabric duct at the show.
Selkirk Metalbestos( introduced the ZeroClearâ„¢ zero clearance grease duct, which features 3-inch wall thickness, high-temperature blanket insulation, and 5- to 36-inch inside diameters. "Grease fires are more apt to occur in square ducts than in round ones," pointed out Tim Rothgeb, explaining why these ducts are round. ZeroClear is available with stainless or aluminized steel exteriors.

Simpson Dura-Vent ( showcased its Dura Flex® flexible gas relining systems, which are UL listed for relining masonry chimneys. They are designed for venting Category I draft hood-equipped or fan-assisted gas appliances, decorative gas fireplaces, or other gas appliances and are approved for use with Type B gas vent. The systems are available in kits and as extension lengths of 5, 15, 25, and 35 feet.

Speedi-Boot ( introduced its HVAC duct boot hanger, designed to save time and money for HVAC installers while providing better air quality and energy efficiency, the company said. Speedi-Bootâ„¢ is adjustable, compatible with most common boot sizes and manufacturers, and adapts to 16- and 24-inch joist centers. It seals to reduce energy loss and helps eliminate boot deformation.

Titus ( featured its new EnviroLoc duct liner for VAV boxes - one of the first IAQ liners available at no additional cost over standard fiberglass liner, the company said. Joe Groh said the liner is an environmentally friendly, thermally bonded, high-density, acoustic-thermal insulation for HVAC systems.

Tyco Adhesives ( featured its 558 CA butyl adhesive tape for use on flexible HVAC ducts. The tape's proprietary rubber adhesive includes butyl and other synthetic elastomers. Product manager Paul Brodowski also discussed the company's new FlexFixâ„¢ UL 181B-FX- approved tape for use on flexible duct connections. "Polypropylene is hand tearable, making for an easy-to-use, economical duct closure solution," he noted.

Z-Flex ( introduced the Z-Vent SX, a concentric special gas vent system designed for use with the latest Category I, II, III, and IV residential and commercial gas heating equipment. Mike Brunt, national sales manager, stated that the vent works well with tankless water heaters, boilers, water heaters, and space heaters. "It's also very easy to install because it only needs a single wall penetration," he noted.

Publication date: 02/28/2005