Traditional HVAC galvanized sheet steel ducting has been the standard specified product for HVAC ducting for over 100 years. Ductus managing director, Jim Malek, talks to CCN about a new way forward.
The old system is heavy, cumbersome to install and requires an additional step of wrapping insulating material around the steel ducts, adding time and weight to the installation.
Malek said this old method of ducting requires additional space, support and weight considerations in the design phase of the project and often suffers air and temperature inefficiencies.
“These long-time issues required a modern solution to deliver a better and more efficient system. Enter ALP Pre-insulated lightweight duct,” he said.
“ALP developed and introduced this technology and it quickly became a superior choice across Europe and America. Ductus now brings this innovative product to Australia.
“Why has this system had such success in Europe and America? Because lightweight ducting overcomes engineering, installation, air quality and environmental challenges that results in the best possible performance, economic benefit and environmental outcome, all while meeting or exceeding Australian Standards.”
Pre-insulated ducting is an innovative product that utilizes high density polyurethane foam which is environmentally advantageous as it is produced without CFC or HCFC.
The PUR is thermoset to embossed aluminum foil on each side which has a thickness of 60, 200 or 500 microns, depending on the required application. The aluminum offers a bacteriostatic efficacy whilst the foam provides a superior degree of thermal insulation.
“This combination of materials provides a system that achieves excellent air tightness and mechanical resistance, in case of pressure variations, which ultimately preserves the air temperature and air flow efficiency,” Malek said.
“Minimum air loss results in long term energy savings as it reduces fan energy usage. The aluminum facing also provides an impervious barrier to prevent moisture absorption. Noise reduction is yet another advantage as the density and rigidity of pre-insulated ducting ensures less vibration.”
The air delivered from pre-insulated duct is hygienic and does not contain fibers from insulating material as it is a closed cell system, and with the aluminum providing bacteriostatic efficacy, resistance to rodents and resistance mould growth, the indoor air quality delivered is of the highest standard.
The pre-insulated system is approximately 80% lighter than traditional steel systems resulting in a lighter load on the building and bearers, requiring fewer hanging supports. The lightweight panels make it a flexible and simple installation – that's a 30% faster installation in comparison to the traditional galvanized ducts.
“Installation is safer due to the lighter weight which improves manual handling for fabricators and installers which drastically reduces accidents and injury to personnel,” Malek said.
“Maintenance of the ALP pre-insulated ductwork is made easy with inspection portholes which provide access to the duct to make cleaning operations straightforward while maintaining indoor air quality.
“ALP pre-insulated duct also provides space saving benefits as the dimensions are smaller and the system has the flexibility to be installed along ceilings, walls and floors and small spaces.
“The ducting panels can be fabricated into any kind of shape, size or bends by cutting, notching and using proprietary adhesive, and can be assembled to suit various specifications,” he said.
“The overall economic advantage of a lightweight pre-insulated system is impressive. It’s easy to see why ALP pre-insulated lightweight duct is making inroads in the Australian market and why engineers, architects and specifiers are taking notice; it's an impressive list of advantages.”