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Duct Construction

Duct Construction

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Published by Warren Bryer
duct construction guide lines for sheet metal workers
duct construction guide lines for sheet metal workers

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Published by: Warren Bryer on Feb 05, 2013
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Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors National Association About SMACNA SMACNA's mission is to provide products, services, and representation to enhance members' businesses, markets, and profitability.
Located in headquarters outside Washington, D.C., the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association (SMACNA), an international association of union contractors, has 1,944 members in 98 chapters throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and Brazil.

Member Profile
SMACNA members perform work in industrial, commercial, institutional and residential markets. They specialize in heating, ventilating and air conditioning; architectural sheet metal; industrial sheet metal; kitchen equipment; specialty stainless steel work; manufacturing; siding and decking; testing and balancing; service; and energy management and maintenance.

Technical Manuals and Standards
The voluntary technical standards and manuals developed by SMACNA Contractors have found worldwide acceptance by the construction community, as well as foreign government agencies. ANSI, the American National Standards Institute, has accredited SMACNA as a standards-setting organization. SMACNA does not seek to enforce its standards or provide accreditation for compliance. SMACNA standards and manuals address all facets of the sheet metal industry, from duct construction and installation to air pollution control, from energy recovery to roofing. SMACNA's Technical Resources Department fields several thousand technical questions annually from architects, engineers, manufacturers and government personnel. More than 17,000 orders for SMACNA technical manuals are processed and shipped each year from SMACNA national headquarters. This translates into sales of more than 50,000 technical manuals, generating approximately $1 million in income for the association.

Member Services
The association offers contractors professional assistance in labor relations, legislative assistance, research and technical standards development, safety, marketing, business management and industry issues.

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American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is an international organization of 51,000 persons. ASHRAE fulfills its mission of advancing heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world through research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education. ASHRAE Mission To advance the arts and sciences of heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigerating to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world. ASHRAE Vision ASHRAE will be the global leader, the foremost source of technical and educational information, and the primary provider of opportunity for professional growth in the arts and sciences of heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigerating.

A variety of materials have been used in the construction of ducts. Selection of the materials used throughout the duct system, should follow the same careful consideration as the other HVAC system components. The materials used in duct systems can substantially affect the overall performance of the systems. Each material should be selected carefully after considering its advantages and limiting characteristics. Materials used for ducts include: galvanized steel, black carbon steel, aluminium, stainless steel, copper, fibreglass reinforced plastic (FRP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyvinyl steel (PVS), concrete, fibrous glass (duct board), and gypsum board. Consideration must also be given to selection of duct construction components, other than those used for the duct walls. Items such as flexible ducts, duct liner, pressure-sensitive tapes, sealants, adhesives, reinforcements, and hangers are described in individual SMACNA manuals, as well as many other publications.

Construction Materials and Their Normal Usage

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Many of the metals you work with are alloys. An alloy is a metal that has another metal or other substance added to it. Steel is an alloy because it is iron that has carbon or some other substance added to it. Ferrous metals contain iron. All steel sheets are ferrous. Galvanized sheets are ferrous because they are steel sheets coated with zinc. Nonferrous metals do not contain iron. For example, copper and aluminum are nonferrous metals. Some common terms are used to describe the characteristics of metal: Ductility Hardness Temper Tensile strength

Ductility is a measure of how much a metal can be worked without breaking. Think of ductility as softness, although this isn’t an exact definition. In sheet metal shops, lead is the most ductile metal used. It can be formed by hand, bent and rebent, and hammered until it is very thin, but it still remains soft. On the other hand, some types of aluminums that have been hardened have so little ductility that they cannot be bent to a 90˚ bend without breaking. However, the metal you find in the sheet metal shop is usually ductile enough to allow it to be bent for various seams and edges. Hardness is the opposite of ductility. Hardness is a measure of how brittle a metal is. The harder a piece of metal is, the more brittle it is. In the sheet metal shop, most metals are not extremely hard, because they must be formed in one way or another. However, many metals can be specified in different degrees of hardness for special applications. Temper is the ability of the metal to retain its shape. Think of temper as the toughness of the metal. Temper is related to hardness. After a tool has been hardened, it is heat-treated again to temper it. A tempered edge is not quite as hard, but it can cut without chipping or losing its sharpness. The cutting edges of snips are tempered. The sheet metals you use in the shop are not tempered. Tensile strength is the strength of metal under a pulling-apart force. It is the number of pounds that a square inch section of the metal can hold on a

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straight pull before it breaks. It is given in pounds per square inch. Architects and engineers must calculate the tensile strength of structural metal. Tensile strength is not usually important for sheet metal workers. However, it is a term you should know. An oxide of a metal is the chemical that forms when metal is exposed to the oxygen in the air. Every metal forms a film of oxide on its surface. Each oxide has different characteristics. Iron oxide is rust. Copper oxide has a gray-green colour. Some oxides cannot be seen. The oxide not the metal itself determines the appearance and lasting characteristics of a metal. Iron Oxide (Rust) Rust is a form of iron oxide. When iron is exposed to the air and to moisture, iron oxide forms. Since iron oxide (rust) is porous and flaky, the oxygen continues to penetrate through the oxide to the metal and continues to form more rust. As more rust forms, the flaky outside drops off and continues to expose more of the iron to oxygen. This is why iron will rust through in a fairly short time when exposed to moisture in air. Stainless Steel Oxide Stainless steel oxide is extremely tough and resists the action of most corrosives that dissolve oxides. It forms quickly and is completely transparent. The result is just as if an extremely thin and tough coat of plastic had been formed over the metal. Compared to iron, stainless steel is practically indestructible. Under normal conditions it will last for many lifetimes. Stainless steel maintains its finish, and most stains do not penetrate into the metal. Copper Oxide Copper oxide is called a patina. It is a tough oxide that resists most chemicals. This is why copper is so long-lasting. The colour of the patina on copper gradually changes over years from brown to green. Applying certain chemicals to copper roofs produces a green patina, which is a desired effect for appearance on some jobs. A brown or green patina gives a soft, warm appearance. Aluminum Oxide

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Aluminum oxide forms almost instantly and is very difficult to dissolve with acids. This is why aluminum is extremely difficult to solder. The aluminum oxides cannot be removed and kept off long enough to complete a soldering job. Lead Oxide Lead oxide is very tough, so lead is one of the longest lasting metals used in the shop. Because to the tough lead oxide, lead is scraped be fore it is soldered. Coated sheets have a covering of a different metal or another material (such as polyvinyl). For example, galvanized steel is a coated sheet because it is a steel sheet coated with zinc to give it longer life and prevent rusting. The oxide of zinc is called white rust. Uncoated sheets contain the same material throughout. The coating on a sheet determines how corrosion resistant it is. The base sheet determines how workable it is. The advantage of the protective coating is lost if the coating is damaged or destroyed. For example, if you make a sink of galvanized iron and weld the corners, you have burned off the zinc coating during the welding process and the iron is exposed to rust in those areas. Gage refers to the thickness of sheet metal. The metric system of sheet metal gages gives the sheet thickness in millimetres. The U.S. Standard Gage is used in the United States and Canada to identify iron sheet and stainless steel. The system of identifying sheet metal gages has developed gradually over a period of many years, based more on tradition than logic. Frankly, there isn’t a great deal of logic in sheet metal gages. In fact, even the terms gage and gauge mean the same though they are spelled differently. You can remember the approximate thickness of a gage in fractions of an inch. For example, 11 gauge is approximately 1/8” and 16 gage is approximately 1/16”. From 16 gauge on up, every sixth gage is approximately half the thickness. These gages and their sizes can help you remember the system:

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11 ga. – 1/8” 16 ga. – 1/16” 22 ga. – 1/32” 28 ga. – 1/64” A. Galvanized Steel

Galvanized sheet metal is soft steel sheets coated with zinc. There are two methods of applying the zinc. In the most common one, the steel is dipped in an acid bath for cleaning and then is dipped in molten zinc, in the other; an electroplating process does the coating. SMACNA’S Duct construction Standards Metal and Flexible states: “unless other wise specified, steel sheet and strip used for duct and connectors shall be G-60 and or G-90 coated galvanized steel of lock-forming grade. Each coated steel sheet product has its own coating weight designation system, which is defined in the appropriate ASTM standard. For example, the most widely used ASTM metallic-coated sheet standard is A653/A653M, which covers hot-dip galvanized products. One of the coating weight designation systems in this standard uses descriptors such as G60, G90, etc. The “G” means the coating is galvanize (zinc), and the numbers refer to the weight of zinc on the surface of the steel sheet in inch-pound (English/Imperial) units. Taking G90 as an example, the coating weight on one square foot of sheet (total both- sides of the sheet) shall have a triple spot test (TST) average minimum of 0.90 ounces. If equally applied to both sides of the sheet, there would be a minimum of 0.45 ounces on each square foot of surface. Service life Forecast Ductwork: 30 years median. Source: ASHRAE Applications Handbook

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Zinc Coating, indoors: G-60 - 34 years G-90 - 54 years Source: ASTM Standard B695 Appendix, based on mean corrosion rate less than 0.01 mils/year. Zinc Coating, outdoors (to first rust): 1. Industrial: 2.5 years 2. Marine: 1.5 to 4 years G-90 - 2.5 to 4 years. G-60 - 1.5 to G-60 -

G-90 - 2.5 to 6 years.

3. Urban/Suburban: G-90- 4 years. 4. Rural: years

G-60-2.5 years G-60 - 8 to 16

G-90 - 12 to 25 years.

Source: ASTM and zinc-related industry research. Gauged: using U.S. Standard Gauge Items normally constructed of galvanized iron are as follows: 1. Air ducts for standard ventilation and air conditioning systems not subjected to extreme acid fume or humidity. 2. Casings and housings for coils, air washers, fans and filters. 3. Roof ventilators and cowls. 4. Volume control dampers. 5. Intake and exhaust louvers. 6. Hangers for ducts. 7. Spray booths. 8. Hoods of all types. 9. Fire dampers. Advantages

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1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Economical May be used in direct contact with concrete Easy to work, easy to join in shop and field. Durable long term performance Light weight Low expansion. Stain resistant.

Precautions 1. 2. 3. 4. B. Do not use in conjunction with copper. Do not use in severely corrosive atmospheres, particularly industrial and chemical environments. Insulate with bituminous coating when in contact with copper, redwood or red cedar. Also verify compatibility with chemically treated wood. Use appropriate flux and solder, neutralize flux after soldering. Black Iron, Mild Steel Sheets Mild steel or black iron is a strong steel with very low carbon content. 0.05% to 0.25% Rust is a form of iron oxide. When iron is exposed to the air and to moisture, iron oxide forms. Since iron oxide (rust) is porous and flaky, the oxygen continues to penetrate through the oxide to the metal and continues to form more rust. As more rust forms, the flaky outside drops off and continue to expose more of the iron to oxygen. This is why iron will rust through in a fairly short time when exposed to moisture in air. Gauged: using U.S. Standard Gauge Items normally constructed of black iron 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Boiler breechings (smoke pipes), Gas fired units if acceptable. Hoods. Belt guards Dampers and hoods conveying high temperature air of gasses. Ducts requiring paint or special coating.

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6. 7.

Cabinets School lockers

Advantages 1. 2. 3. High strength, rigidity, durability. Paintable. Easily welded.

Precautions 1. Very low corrosion resistance, must be painted or coated to suit its environment Sheet Copper or Lead Coated Copper Lead coated copper is copper that is coated with lead on both sides. It has a characteristic gray colour and is used primarily to limit staining of concrete, stone, etc., and where the gray colour is desired Copper oxide is called patina. It is a tough oxide that resists most chemicals. This is why copper is so long-lasting. The colour of the patina on copper gradually changes over years from brown to green. Applying certain chemicals to copper roofs produces a green patina, which is a desired effect for appearance on some jobs. A brown or green patina gives a soft, warm appearance to copper. Lead oxide is very tough, so lead is one of the longest lasting metals used in the shop. Because of the tough lead oxide, lead is scraped before it is soldered. Gauged: using Ounces per square foot Items normally made of copper or lead coated copper 1. 2. Exposed ducts where permanency is important and painting is either impossible or expensive. Shower and swimming pool exhaust ducts where extreme humidity conditions occur.


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3. 4. 5.

Exhaust doors and ducts where the fumes are harmful to other materials Roof ventilators or cowls for permanent installation where painting is not practical. Intake and exhaust louvers for appearance or where servicing or replacement is difficult.

Advantages 1. 2. 3. 4. Resistant to corrosion in air and moisture Easy to work, easy to join in shop and field Not corroded by masonry, concrete or stucco when flashed or embedded therein. Accepts solder readily.

Precautions 1. 2. 3. Use copper or copper alloy fasteners. Use appropriate flux and solder, neutralize flux after soldering Avoid direct contact uncoated aluminum, steel, galvanized steel and other non-compatible metals Lead Lead is a dull gray metal used for roofing, flashings, water proofing sound isolation, and as a radiation barrier. On exposed roof surfaces it develops a soft gray patina over the years. Lead oxide is very tough, so lead is one of the longest lasting metals used in the shop. Because of the tough lead oxide, lead is scraped be fore it is soldered. Gauged: using pounds per square foot Advantages 1. 2. Extremely workable, conforms to surfaces on which it is applied Very resistant to atmospheric corrosion.


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3. Precautions 1. 2. 3. 4.

Limited staining of adjoining surfaces.

Reacts with uncured concrete and mortar: use bituminous coatings for protection Eliminate rough projections on underlying surfaces. Allowances must be made for high thermal expansion rate. Use appropriate flux and solder, neutralize flux after soldering Aluminum

Aluminum is used extensively as a substitute for galvanized steel. But more care must be used, gauges of metal must be heavier and more reinforcing installed. In warm air systems, where the air in the ducts varies considerably in temperature, aluminum will expand and contract more than steel. Unless this movement is compensated for, it will cause the ducts to be noisy Aluminum has a much lower melting point than steel and therefore should not be used where high temperatures are liable to occur. For exterior ducts ventilators, louvers, etc., it resists corrosion without paint. Aluminum oxide forms almost instantly and is very difficult to dissolve with acids. This is why aluminum is extremely difficult to solder. The aluminum oxides cannot be removed and kept off long enough to complete a soldering job. Gauged: using decimals of an inch Items normally constructed of aluminum: 1. 2. 3. 4. Roofing, flashing and numerous other architectural applications. Duct systems for moisture-laden air. Ornamental duct systems. Sometimes aluminum is substituted for galvanized steel in HVAC duct systems.

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Normal uses are the same as steel with the following exclusions. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Kitchen exhaust ducts where grease accumulation may cause a fire Ducts carrying air or fumes at temperatures over 600 deg. F. Ducts from showers or pools where the water is chlorinated. Fire dampers or collars enclosing same. Duct in or attached to masonry walls where moisture is continually present, which would cause the lime in the walls to corrode the metal.

Advantages 1. 2. 3. Lightweight corrosion-resistant material. Will not stain adjacent surfaces. Ductile, malleable, and easily worked.

Precautions 1. 2. 3.

Use aluminum or stainless steel fasteners. Cannot be soldered. Use rivets and sealer or weld joints. Avoid direct contact with dissimilar metal, and with concrete or mortar. Coat with bituminous paint when in contact with these materials It is not recommended for through-wall flashing. If used, it must be coated. Stainless Steel


Stainless steel is a durable, maintenance free, corrosion resistance material with a silvery appearance. The 300 series typically used for roofing and flashing applications are alloys of steel incorporating chromium, nickel and manganese. Type 316 also contains molybdenum. Series 400 does not contain nickel, is less corrosion resistant, and is used primarily for interior applications. Stainless steel oxide is extremely tough and resists the action of most corrosives that dissolve oxides. It forms quickly and is completely

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transparent. The result is just as if an extremely thin and tough coat of plastic had been formed over the metal. Compared to iron, stainless steel is practically indestructible. Under normal conditions it will last for many lifetimes. Stainless steel maintains its finish, and most stains do not penetrate into the metal Gauged: using U.S. standard gauge Items normally constructed of stainless steel: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Exposed ducts that are not to be painted and a bright finish is desired. Shower and pool exhaust ducts. Intake and exhaust louvers. Kitchen range hoods complete or as trim on galvanized or black iron hoods. Fume exhaust hoods when other metals are not satisfactory

Advantages 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Excellent corrosion resistance requiring no artificially applied surface protection coatings. Self cleaning, requires little or no maintenance Not affected by mortar or concrete. Does not stain adjacent surfaces. Superior resistance to metal fatigue

Precautions 1. Clean surfaces after fabrication to remove contaminants that can lead to surface corrosion 2. More expensive than other materials 3. Use special stainless steel-type flux, appropriate solder, and neutralize flux after soldering. Stainless steel is available in 44 different alloys with various finishes and colours. G. Flexible Pipe

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1. 2. 3. 4. H. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. I.

Metal industrial. Wire reinforced, fabric, plastic. Band reinforced fabric. Insulated and Acoustical Double metal pipes Galvanized iron and aluminum. Aluminum and aluminum. Aluminum and stainless steel. Galvanized iron and stainless steel. Stainless steel and stainless steel. Double Filled Pipes

Uses- High temperature and high humidity chimneys: Class A – Masonry filled Class B – Double pipe Class C – Single pipe J. Sonair Duct Spiral wrapped paper, vapour barrier, paper and aluminum foil. Uses – Concrete forms, slab concrete, attic installations, may be used with or without collars. K. Transite or Asbestos Board The transite, that is produced today, is a completely fireproof composite material and a non-asbestos product. Transite HT, and Transite 1000, are currently available fiber cement boards that contain no asbestos. Instead it contains crystalline silica which has been classified by The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as being carcinogenic to humans (Class 1). Crystalline silica is also known to cause Silicosis, a non-cancerous lung disease.

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The use of asbestos to manufacture Transite was phased out in the 1980s. However prior Transite was made of 12-50% asbestos and cement, leading to its frequent use for such purposes as furnace flues, shingles, siding, and wallboard for areas where fire retardancy is particularly important. It was also used in walk-in coolers made in large supermarkets in the 1960s, 1970s and even the 1980s. Other uses included roof drain piping, sanitary sewer drain piping, and HVAC ducts. Because cutting, breaking, and machining transite releases carcinogenic asbestos fibers into the air, its use has fallen out of favor. 1. 2. 3. L. Fume exhaust systems. Extremely high temperature ducts. Stacks for gas heater vents. Plastic Duct Polyvinyl chloride, commonly abbreviated PVC, is a widely used thermoplastic polymer. Around the world, over 50% of PVC manufactured is used in construction. As a building material, PVC is cheap, durable, and easy to assemble. In recent years, PVC has been replacing traditional building materials such as wood, concrete and clay in many areas. Polyvinyl chloride is used in a variety of applications. As a hard plastic, it is used as vinyl siding, window profiles, pipe, plumbing and conduit fixtures. PVC pipe plumbing is typically white, as opposed to ABS, which is commonly available in grey and black, as well as white. Corrosive fume exhaust systems. (P.V.C. should not come in contact with Petro Chemical Gasses). As there are many types of plastics available, use and construction should be recommended by the manufacturer. Glass Fibre Ducts Is use in interior, low pressure (2” in water gage max.) heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning ducts where either thermal or acoustical insulation is required. Round or square forms are produced. Note- Construction recommended by supplier. N. Spun Rock Wool or Fibreglass Aluminum Backed Board


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Used with fittings where there is a change of direction. Forming- Special cutting and notching tools are used to form mitred corners on the duct. Aluminum backed tape is used as a seal on the seams. O. Polyvinyl Steel (PVS) Polyvinyl steel is a polyvinyl-chloride plastic coating heat fused to galvanized steel. Two-mil and four-mil coating thicknesses usually are standard, with steel gages available from 26 ga through, and including 14 ga. This product is most popular in spiral formed pipe and is available in flat sheets and coil stock of lock-forming quality. B. Concrete Used in underground ducts, air shafts. Advantages Compressive strength, corrosion resistance. Precautions Cost, weight, rough surface (high friction) porous, fabrication (requires forming processes). C. Turneplate Turneplate is sheet iron or steel coated with an alloy of about 4 parts lead to 1 part tin. Used for roofing, gutters and downspouts, and casket linings and in the manufacture of gasoline tanks for automobiles, oil cans, and containers for paints, solvents, resins, and so on, it has largely been replaced by other, more durable steel products that are easier to manufacture. Advantages Has a higher resistance to acids and other corrosives. Precautions

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Softer coating than galvanized, more easily scratched.


Tin plate Tin plate is black iron coated with tin. It has a clean shinny appearance. Advantages It is used for food containers Precautions Not as long lasting as stainless steel. It is not used much anymore.
Black Iron Lead Copper

U.S. Standard Gage Pounds per square foot Ounces per square foot

Low cost Long lasting, soft Long lasting, warm appearance, easy to work Long lasting, clean, corrosion resistant. Retains shiny appearance. Good for food containers Light weight, silvery appearance Low cost, More corrosion resistant than black iron Higher resistance to acids and other corrosives Clean, shiny appearance. Good for food containers Paint adheres well

Rust easily High cost, heavy No rigidity High cost

Low carbon steel sheet Solid lead Solid copper

Hydrofluoric - Zinc Chloride Tallow - Rosin Zinc Chloride - Resin Paste


U.S. Standard Gage

High cost High cost Not practical to solder Less corrosion resistant than stainless

Aluminum Galvanized

Decimals of an inch U.S. Standard Gage

Different Etch Hydrochloric & Zinc Chloride alloys, mainly Phosphoric - 50% Phos.- 50% iron, chomium, Hydro. and nickel Some alloys Fluoride Ammonium Base added Black iron coated with zinc Hydrochloric - Zinc Chloride

Terne Plate Tin Plate Zinc-coated

U.S. Standard Gage Tin plate gage U.S. Standard Gage

Softer coating than Black iron galvanized, more coated with easily scratched lead Not as long lasting as Black iron stainless steel. coated with tin Slightly more Etched or expensive than roughed standard galvanized galvanized

Zinc Chloride - Paste Zinc Chloride - Paste Cut Hydrofluoric - Zinc Chloride

AIR SYSTEMS Air flows in ducts due to a pressure difference created by a fan. The air at the outlet side of the fan creates a positive pressure and the air at the inlet side of the fan is in a negative pressure. The speed at which the air moves or its velocity is measured in FPM (feet per minute) and the volume of air that moves threw the duct is measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute). The speeds at which the air moves and the quantity of air moving threw the duct

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create pressure on the duct walls called static pressure measured in WG (water gauge). As the static pressure increases so does the need to increase the gauge of the material that the duct is made of, or to reinforce the duct. SMACNA’S manual “HVAC DUCT CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS” shows us the proper gauging and reinforcements.
Duct System Reinforcement: Whose Responsibility?

By Todd Talbott
Airflow Group Engineering and Marketing Manager, United McGill Corp., Groveport, Ohio Duct reinforcement is an essential element of proper duct system design that is often overlooked, especially for negative pressure systems. Even when reinforcement specifications are addressed, they are often so vague that the designer, fabricator, and installer each assume that the others have taken reinforcement into consideration. On most projects, reinforcement becomes a major consideration only if there is a problem in the field. The consequences of inadequate reinforced ductwork are rarely noticed in commercial building applications. Positive pressure supply systems rarely exceed six in. WG, and few negative pressure return air systems exceed –3 in. WG. Duct systems generally meet approval if the design volume of air gets from the fan to the diffuser with no structural failure and within the budget. However, problems that avoid detection initially can result in costly retrofits in the future. Over time, inadequately supported positive pressure duct can experience serious leakage and noise problems. Duct walls that continually pressurize and depressurize in variable air volume (VAV) systems can eventually increase leakage at duct joints, thereby requiring the fan to push more air through the systems to meet the original design criteria. How much more air? That depends on the quality of workmanship in fabricating, installing, and sealing the ductwork. The “oil-canning” effect can also cause excessive noise problems that could require installation of expensive noise abatement equipment.

Reinforcement Specifications
Reinforcement specifications are intended to minimize duct wall deflection, thus preventing potential leakage and noise problems in the commercial/institutional arena involve negative pressure systems exceeding the common return air system pressures of –2 to –3 in. WG. These systems, when constructed of common commercial gauges, will experience structural failure if not properly reinforced. Herein lies the problem. The construction standards referenced by most commercial specifications do not properly address all reinforcement issues. Potential disaster awaits duct systems when reinforcement issues are not addressed during the design stage.

P a g e | 19 The most prominent construction standards found in specifications today are published by SMACNA. The premiere commercial standard is SMACNA’s 1985 HVAC Duct Construction Standards. The following paragraph comes from Section 1, “Basic Duct Construction,” under the subsection titled, “Reinforcement Arrangements”. “Fabricators and installers are obligated to select feature from among the joint, seam, reinforcement, and support options that will result in a composite assembly that will be serviceable within the express and implied performance criteria identified herein. Experience in construction is valuable; no representation is made that all detail and knowledge necessary to select, fabricate and install a workable assembly is implied. Indiscriminate selection and poor workmanship compromise construction integrity. Conversely, the obligation to make suitable selections does not constitute and obligation to compensate for a designer’s negligence in specification application. A construction standard must be applied by a designer to the requirements of the individual project within the range of its limits.”

Who’s responsible?
So, who is responsible? Designers, fabricators, and installers! The above paragraph implies that the fabricator and installer are responsible for selecting reinforcement and other construction details from among SMACNA’s options to meet specific performance criteria. Gauge/reinforcement options allow the contractor and fabricator to select reinforcement combinations that offer the best price advantages providing they are within their manufacturing capabilities. Together, the contractor and fabricator can evaluate reinforcement, joint, connector and support options to reduce costs further. Selection and workmanship are the combined responsibility of the fabricator and installer. However, designers cannot totally dismiss themselves from duct construction responsibilities. Construction standards are available for various applications; one manual does not cover them all. Therefore, the designer is responsible for choosing the construction standards according to the specific application.

Defining Responsibilities
The following example typifies how vague wording in commercial specification can cause severe problems for all parties concerned when responsibilities are not clearly stated. A specification states: “Put 80ft of 14 by 41 flat oval exhaust air ducts for the animal cage room ventilation system. Ductwork is to be of galvanized steel able to withstand an operating pressure of –6 in. WG. The duct must be conformance with SMACNA’s HVAC Duct Construction Standards. Four-bolt flat oval duct connectors are required”.

P a g e | 20 According to SMACNA’s 1985 HVAC Duct Construction Standards (pp. 311, Tables 3-4), Flat oval Duct with a major axis dimension of 41 in. should be constructed of 22 galvanized sheet metal. The proposal submitted by the fabricator to the installing for the sheet metal duct and fittings. The fabricator offers two four-bolt oval connectors price options: shipped loose and shop installed. The installer gives the fabricator a contract for the ductwork with four-bolt flat oval duct connector installed in the shop. The job is fast track, so after receiving approved submittals from the designer, the installer releases the fabricator to send material to the job site. Eight months later, the installer informs the fabricator that the duct collapsed and wants to know what the fabricator is going to do about it. The fabricator claims no responsibility because the exclusions page in the submittal package plainly notes that the reinforcement would not be provided. The installer claims no responsibility, having assumed that the four-bolt oval duct connectors selected by the designer were the reinforcement. The designer informs the installer that four-bolt flat oval duct connectors were selected for their attractiveness as connectors, not for their reinforcement value. The designer will not take responsibility for the misunderstanding because the specification plainly states that the installer is responsible for providing ductwork that meets AMACNA standards, including reinforcement. The designer also points out that the installer is responsible for the reinforcement because the fabricator stated it would not be provided. The installer approaches the fabricator and demands help solving the problem, claiming that it was the fabricator’s responsibility to detail the reinforcement required even though it was not supplied. Who is responsible for the reinforcement? After researching SMACNA’s 1985 HVAC Duct Construction Standards to determine what reinforcement is required, the fabricator the fabricator finds no guidance for reinforcing round, flat oval, or rectangular systems exceeding –3 in. WG. The installer requests an add from the designer for the unspecified reinforcement. The designer finds that SMACNA’s Rectangular Industrial Duct Construction Standards and Accepted Industry Practice for Industrial Duct Construction both address reinforcement for systems exceeding –3in. WG and demands that the installer pay for fixing the problem. The fabricator informs the installer that following the reinforcement guidelines in SMACNA’s Rectangular Industrial Duct Construction Standards is impossible because 16-gauge sheet metal is the minimum allowed. The 14 by 41 spiral duct is 22-gauge. Accepted Industry Practice for Industrial Duct Construction (p. 8, Table 2-A) requires that 22-gauge duct be reinforced every foot, which is very expensive. The fabricator and installer both inform the designer that these other publications are not referenced in the specification and

P a g e | 21 are for industrial applications outside the construction standards used for this application. Fortunately, there is no other flat oval duct on the job. Ultimately, the fabricator agrees to supply reinforcement, provided that the installer assumes installation expenses. But there is still the problem of paying delay back charges. The installer and fabricator join forces, demanding that the designer assume these expenses due to the weak specification and the fact that the designer approved all submittals. If this project had been a larger project involving more money, there would probably have been litigation.

The only win=win scenario is for the owner, designer, installer and fabricator to out a solution together. This rarely happens, especially on the larger projects, and usually all parties think they are in the right and the lawyers are brought in. Who is responsible? There is no guaranteed after-the-fact solution because someone stands to lose profits and respect for admitting fault. The best solution is prevention! Consider the following suggested responsibilities: • The designer is responsible for choosing construction standards for the job, specifically detailing expectations or modifications thereof. • The installer is responsible working with the fabricator to determine which gauge/reinforcement option offers the best price and still meets the designer’s performance criteria. Usually, the installer can save money by purchasing and installing the reinforcement and by properly coordinating the hanger/support layout with the reinforcement spacing. • When the installer and fabricator provide price options for the engineered ductwork systems, the designer should keep those prices in confidence and not to shop around for a better price before or after the bid. The fabricator should write a letter to the installer, copying the designer, calling attention to the need for reinforcement and the fact that it is not included. However, the fabricator should provide the installer with reinforcement requirements for the duct provided. The fabricator may provide an option price for reinforcement at the installer’s request. • The designer should review the submittals and verify that the duct construction conforms with the performance criteria selected. • The designer should not allow the installer to release the fabricator to supply material to the job site until all concerns about the submittals have been resolved and approval has been given.

The new SMACNA’s HVAC Duct Construction Standards was published in October 2006 and covers gauge/reinforcement guidelines for round, flat oval, and rectangular duct for +10 to –10 in. WG in standards commercial gauges. The designer, fabricator, and installer should all share the responsibility for duct construction.

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Accountability, cooperation, and coordination among all parties are essential.

Various types of information are required in project plans and specifications in order for the fabricating and installing contractor to provide the duct system performance intended by the system designer. Among those are: 1. A comprehensive duct layout indicating sizes, design airflows, pressure class, and routing of the duct system. 2. The types of fittings to be used based on the designer’s calculations of fittings losses (i.e. square versus 45 degrees entry taps, conical versus straight taps, etc.) 3. Use of turning vanes or splitter vanes. 4. Location of access doors 5. Location and type of control and balancing dampers. 6. Location and type of diffusers. 7. Requirements for duct insulation. 8. Location and types of any fire protection device including fire dampers, smoke dampers, combination fire/smoke dampers, and ceiling dampers. Building codes require this information to be shown on the design documents submitted for building permit. 9. Details of offsets required to route ductwork around obstructions (columns, beams, etc.) Pressure Classifications Old system 1) Low Pressure 0” to 2” Water Gauge New system 1) 0” to ½” Water Gauge 2) ½” to 1” Water Gauge 3) 1” to 2” Water Gauge

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2) Medium Pressure 2” to 6” Water Gauge 3) High Pressure 6” to 10” Water Gauge

4) 2” to 3” Water Gauge 5) 3” to 4” Water Gauge 6) 4” to 6” Water Gauge 7) 6” to 10” Water Gauge

Each duct system shall be constructed for the specific duct pressure classifications shown on the contract drawings. Where no pressure classes are specified by the designer, the 1in. WG (250 Pa) pressure class is the basis of compliance with these standards, regardless of velocity in the duct, except when the duct is variable volume: All variable volume ducts upstream of VAV boxes has a 2 in. WG (500 Pa) basis of compliance when the designer does not give a pressure class.
Ductwork and supports shall conform to HVAC Duct Construction Standards Metal and Flexible, Third Edition, 2005. Where fittings of configurations not shown in the HVAC-DCS are shown on the contract drawings, they shall be constructed at though they were therein. Duct dimensions shown in the contract drawings are for airflow area. When ducts are acoustically lined, their dimensions shall be increased as necessary. Duct pressure classes are to be identified on the contract drawings. Duct shall be sealed as specified in the HVAC-DCS. Metal nosing shall be used on leading edges of each piece of lined duct when the velocity exceeds 4000 fpm (20.3 m/s) otherwise, it shall be used on the leading edge of any lined duct section that is preceded by unlined duct.

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• Gage no less than two gages less than duct gage • 24 ga minimum • Qualification as reinforcement per Table 2-48 • T-3 Slip Gage as per T-l Any length at 2 in. wg - 36 in. maximum length at 3 in. wg - 30 in. maximum length at 4 in. wg - Not allowed above 4 in. wg
_______________________________________________________________________ _

• Fasten standing portions within 2 in. of each end and elsewhere at 8 in. spacing or less • Any length at 2 in. wg • 36 in. maximum length at 3 in. wg • 30 in. maximum length at 4 in. wg • Not allowed above 4 in. wg
_______________________________________________________________________ _

• Not less than two gages less than duct gage

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• 24 ga minimum • When used on all 4 sides, fasten within 2 in. of the coners and at 12 in. maximum intervals • 2 in. wg maximum pressure • Use slips conforming to T-6 • Use 16 ga angle of 1 in. height into slip pocket • Fasten with screws at ends • Angle used only for A, B. or C rigidity class • 2 in. wg maximum pressure _____________________________________________________________ • 24 ga for 30 inch width or less • 22 ga over 30 inch width • fasten to each section of the duct within 2 in. from corners and at 6 in maximum intervals • 5/16 in. minimum tabs to close corners _____________________________________________________________ • When using S on all four sides, fasten slip to duct within 2 in. of the corner

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and at 12 in. maxi mum interv als • Any length at 2 in. wg • 36 in. maximum length at 3 in. wg • 30 in. maximum length at 4 in. wg • Not allowed above -4 in. wg

• Fasten as per Joint T-I 0 • Standing portion as per T -10 or T-II to hold Flat Bar • Fasten bar stock to the connector within 2 in. of the corner and at 12 in. maximum intervals • Any length at :2 in. wg • 36 in. maximum length at 3 in. wg • 30 in. maximum length at 4 in. wg • Not allowed above 4 in. wg _____________________________________________________________ • Fasten as per Joint T-1O

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• Fasten angle to the connector or duct wall within 2 in. of the comer and at 12 in. maximum intervals • Any length at 2 in. wg • 36 in. maximum length at 3 in. wg • 30 in. maximum length at 4 in. wg • Not allowed above 4 in. wg

• Button punch or otherwise fasten within 2 in. of each comer and at 6 in. maximum intervals • Seal and fold comers • Stagger joints on adjacent sides if using standing seam on all four sides • Hammer longitudinal scam at ends of standing seam _____________________________________________________________ • Use 1/2 in. minimum flange and end weld • Flanges larger than5/8 in. must be spot welded, bolted, riveted or screwed to prevent separation (2 in. from ends and at 8 in. maximum intervals)

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• On 24, 22 or 20 ga, braee or weld 1/ 4 x 4 in. rod in corners or provide hangers at every joint _____________________________________________________________ • 3/a in. minimum f1ange on duct • Angles must hav e welded comers • Angles must be tack welded. bolted or screwed to the duct wall at 2 in. maximum from the ends and at 12 in. maximum intervals • Bolt Schedule: -5/16 minimum diameter at 6 in. maximum spacing at 4 in. wg or lower -1/8 in. angle requires 4 in. maximum spacing at 4 in. wg -4 in. maximum spacing at higher pressures • Hold duct back 1/8 in, from vertical face of the angle and tack weld to the flange along the edge of the duct • fasten angle to duct as per T -22 • For additional tightness place sealant between the angle and duct or seal the weld • If the faces of the angles are flush, thick consistency sealant may be used in lieu of gasket • Use gasket suitable for the specific service and fit it uniformly to avoid protruding into the duct _____________________________________________________________

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• Assemble per Figure 2-16 • Close corners with minimum 16 ga corner pieces and 3/8 in. bolts min. • Lock flanges together with 6 in. long clips located within 6 in. of each corner • Clips spaced at 15 in. maximum tor 3 in. wg pressure class or lower • Clips spaced at 12 in. maximum for 4, 6 and 10 in. wg • Gasket to be located to form an effective seal

• Bolt, rivet 1 in. maximum from ends and at 6 in. maximum intervals • Limited to 2 in. wg pressure class • See Figure 2-16 • Gasket to be located to form an effective seal _____________________________________________________________ • Assemble per Figure 2-17 • Ratings may be adjusted with EI-rated bar stock or members from Tables 2-29 and 230

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• Supplemental members may be attached to the duct wall on both sides of the joint • Single members may be used if they are fastened through both mating flanges • Gasket to be located to form an effective seal _____________________________________________________________ • Consult manufacturers for ratings established by performance documented to functional criteria in Chapter 11.


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• Pocket depth from ¼ in. to 5/16 in. • Use on straight duct and fittings • To ± l0in. wg _____________________________________________________________ • 5/16 in. pocket depth for 20, 22, and 24 ga • 1/2 in. pocket depth for 24 and 26 ga • To ± 4 in. wg • Screws must be added at the ends of all duct of 4 in. wg and at the ends of 3 in. wg when the duct is over 48 in. width • To +l0in.wg

_____________________________________________________________ • To±l0in.wg • 1 in. seam up to duct width of 42 in. • 1 1/2 in. seamm for larger ducts • May be used on duct interiors • Fasten at 2 in. maximum from ends and at 8 in. maximum intervals _____________________________________________________________ • To ± lOin. wg • Fasten as per L-4 _____________________________________________________________ • Assemble per figure 2-17

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• Ratings may be adjusted with EI-rated bar stock or members from Tables 2-29 and 2-30 • Supplemental members may he attached to the duct wall on both sides of the joint • Single members may he used if they are fastened through both mating flanges • Gasket to be located to form an effective seal Crossbreaking and beading: Duct sizes 10” (483 mm) wide and larger which have more than 10 square feet (0.93 square meter) of unbraced panel shall be beaded or cross broken unless ducts will have insulation covering or acoustical liner. This requirement is applicable to 20 gage (1.00 mm) or less thickness and 3” wg (750 PA) or less.

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X=12” (305 mm) maximum fastener (tack weld, spotweld, bolt, screw, or rivet) spacing. When end ties are used the 2” (51 mm) interval may be omitted. Tack weld along alternate sides of the angle.

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TIE ROD INSTALLATIONS Internal ties shall be one of the methods shown in the picture below. The restraining member and its connections shall be capable of sustaining a load equal to 75 percent of the duct construction pressure class load applied as 5.2 pounds per square foot per inch of water gage (101.63 kg per square meter per kPa) over an area equal to the width of the duct times the reinforcement interval. When more than one tie rod is used at a crossection of the duct, the design load may be proportionately reduced.

Pipe, tubing or conduit without threaded inserts may be brazed or welded to the duct wall.

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MIDPANEL TIE RODS Tie rods at midpanel are acceptable economical alternatives to external intermediate reinforcements for ducts in the width range through 96 in. (2400 mm) Petitions to local authorities for acceptance under conditions other than that stipulated may be made using DCS Chapter 11, method 2.

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VENT PIPE Class A: - double pipe (insulated 2”) - interior &exterior of home, - +1800°F - double pipe (air space) - interior of home -single pipe

Class B: Class C:

ROUND DUCT CONSTUCTION Round duct has a high strength to weight ratio, uses the least material to convey air at a given friction loss, and is comparatively easy to seal. The wall thickness suitable for positive pressure application is generally less than that for negative pressure. For positive pressure (and low negative pressure), girth ring reinforcement is not necessary. However, rings may be used to maintain the round shape to facilitate handling, shipment, or connection. Fittings shall have a wall thickness not less than that specified for longitudinal-seam straight duct. The diameter of fittings shall be appropriate for mating with sections of the straight duct, equipment, and air terminals to which they connect. The use of a saddle or a direct connection of a branch into a larger duct is acceptable. Where they are used, the diameter of the branch shall not exceed two-thirds of the diameter of the main and protrusions into the interior of the main, are not allowed. Direct connection of a branch into a main shall include mechanical attachment sufficient to maintain the integrity of the assembly. All saddle fittings shall be sealed at all pressures. Where other limitations are not stated, mitered elbows shall be based on the velocity of flow and shall be constructed to comply with the table below.

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DUCT SEALING Ducts must be sufficiently airtight to ensure economical and quiet performance of the system. It must be recognized that airtightness in ducts cannot, and need not, be absolute (as it must be in a water piping system). Codes normally require that ducts be reasonably airtight. Concerns for energy conservation, humidity control, space temperature control, room air movement, ventilation, maintenance, etc., necessitate regulating leakage by prescriptive measures in construction standards. Leakage is largely a function of static pressure and the amount of leakage in a system is significantly related to system size. Adequate airtightness can normally be ensured by a) selecting a static pressure, construction class suitable for the operating condition, and b) sealing the ductwork properly.

The designer is responsible for determining the pressure class or classes required for duct construction and for evaluating the amount of sealing necessary to achieve system performance objectives. It is recommended that all duct constructed for the 1 in. (250 Pa) and 1/2 in. ( 125 Pa) pressure class meet Seal Class C. However, because designers sometimes deem leakage in unsealed ducts not to have adverse effects, the sealing of all ducts in the 1 in. (250 Pa) and 1/2 in. (125 Pa) pressure class is not required by this construction manual. Designers occasionally exempt the following from sealing requirements: small systems, residential occupancies, ducts located directly in the zones they serve, ducts that have short runs from volume control boxes to diffusers, certain return air ceiling plenum applications, etc. When Seal Class C is to apply to all 1 in. (250 Pa) and 1/2 in. (125 Pa) pressure class duct, the designer must require this in the project specification. The designer should review the HVAC Air Duct Leakage Test Manual for estimated and practical leakage allowances.

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Seven pressure classes exist [1/2 in. (125 Pa), 1 in. (250 Pa), 2 in. (500 Pa), 3 in. (750 Pa), 4 in. (1000 Pa), 6 in. (1500 Pa) and 10 in. wg (2500 Pa)]. If the designer does not designate pressure class for duct construction on the contract drawings, the basis of compliance with the SMACNA HVAC Duct Construction Standards is as follows: 2 in. wg (500 Pa) for all ducts between the supply fan and variable volume control boxes and 1 in. wg (250 Pa) for all other ducts of any application. Some sealants can adversely affect the release function of breakaway connections to fire dampers; consult the damper manufacturer for installation restrictions. There is no need to verify leakage control by field testing when adequate methods of assembly and sealing are used. Leakage tests are an added expense in system installation. It is not recommended that duct systems constructed to 3 in. wg (750 Pa) class or lower be tested because this is generally not cost effective. For duct systems constructed to 4 in. wg (1000 Pa) class and higher, the designer must determine if any justification for testing exists. If it does, the contract documents must clearly designate the portions ofthe system(s) to be tested and the appropriate test methods. ASHRAE energy conservation standards series 90 text on leakage control generally requires tests only for pressures in excess of 3 in. wg (750 Pa). TYPES OF SEALANTS Liquids Many manufacturers produce liquid sealants specifically for ducts. They have the consistency of heavy syrup and can be applied either by brush or with a cartridge gun or powered pump. Liquid sealants normally contain 30 to 60 percent volatile solvents; therefore, they shrink considerably when drying. They are recommended for slip-type joints where the sealant fills a small space between the overlapping pieces of metal. Where metal clearances exceed 1/16 in. (1.6 mm), several applications may be necessary to fill the voids caused by shrinkage or runout of the sealant. These sealants are normally brushed on to round slip joints and pumped into rectangular slip joints.

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Mastics Heavy mastic sealants are more suitable as fillets, in grooves, or between flanges. Mastics must have excellent adhesion and elasticity. Although not marketed specifically for ductwork, high quality curtain wall sealants have been used for this application. Oilbased caulking and glazing compounds should not be used. Tapes Nothing in this standard is intended to unconditionally prohibit the use of pressure sensitive tapes. Several such closures are listed as components of systems complying with UL Standard 181 tests. There are no industry recognized performance standards that set forth peel adhesion, shear adhesion, tensile strength, temperature limits, accelerated aging, etc., which are quality control characteristics specifically correlated with metal duct construction service. However, the SMACNA Fibrous Glass Duct Construction Standards illustrate the closure of a fibrous duct to metal duct with a tape system. The variety of advertised products is very broad. Some test results for tapes are published in the product directories of the Pressure Sensitive Tape Council located in Chicago, IL. The shelf life of tapes may be difficult to identify. It may be only six months or one year. Although initial adhesion may appear satisfactory, the aging characteristics of these tapes in service is questionable. They tend to lose adhesion progressively at edges or from exposures to air pressure, flexure, the drying effects at the holes or cracks being sealed, etc. The tape's adhesive may be chemically incompatible with the substrate, as is apparently the case with certain nonmetal flexible ducts. Application over uncured sealant may have failures related to the release of volatile solvents. Sea air may have different effects on rubber, acrylic, silicone-based (or other) adhesives. Tapes of a gum-like consistency with one or two removable waxed liners have become popular for some applications. They are generally known as the peel and seal variety and have been used between flanges and on the exterior of ducts. Such tapes are typically of thicknesses several times that of tapes traditionally known as the pressure sensitive type. Some may have mesh reinforcement. Others may have metal or nonmetal backing on one surface.

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HEAT APPLIED MATERIALS Hot melt and thermally activated sealants are less widely known but are used for ductwork. The hot melt type is normally a shop application. Thermally activated types use heat to either shrink-fit closures or to expand compounds within joint systems. MASTIC AND EMBEDDED FABRIC There are several combinations of woven fabrics (fibrous glass mesh, gauze, canvas, etc.) and sealing compounds (including lagging adhesive) that appear better suited for creating and maintaining effective seals than sealant alone. Glass fabric and mastic (GFM) used for fibrous glass duct appears to adhere well to galvanized steel. SURFACE PREPARATION Surfaces to receive sealant should be clean, meaning free from oil, dust, dirt, rust, moisture, ice crystals, and other substances that inhibit or prevent bonding. Solvent cleaning is an additional expense. Surface primers are now available, but their additional cost may not result in measurable long-term benefits. SEALANT STRENGTH No sealant system is recognized as a substitute for mechanical attachments. SHELF LIFE The shelf life of all sealant products may be one year or less; often it is only six months. The installer is cautioned to verify that the shelf life has not been exceeded. SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS Sealant systems may be flammable in the wet, partially cured, or cured state. USE LIQUIDS AND MASTICS IN WELL VENTILATED AREAS AND OBSERVE PRINTED PRECAUTIONS OF MANUFACTURERS. The contractor should carefully consider the effects of loss of seal and fire potential when welding on or near sealed connections. NFPA Standard 90A requires adhesives to have a flame spread rating not over 25 and a smoke developed rating not over 50.

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ALUMINUM DUCT The traditional use of aluminum sheet two gages (Brown and Sharp schedule) heavier than standard galvanized sheet gage DOES NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS FOR EQUIVALENT STRENGTH AND RIGIDITY. The modulus of elasticity of aluminum is one-third that of steel and the yield strength is approximately one-half that of steel. Thus, aluminum has to be approximately 44 percent thicker. However, tests have not been conducted on all of the indicated constructions to verify that deflections are the same as those of steel, to confirm that all construction will withstand a 50 percent overload, or to refine the fastener (screw, rivet, etc.) spacing, type, and size. Nevertheless, these provisions are more reliable than the tradition of simply increasing the duct gage by two size numbers. No failure at the rated pressure is anticipated, and none has been reported since this approach was introduced in 1976. To convert the steel tables to aluminum: 1. Select a set of construction requirements for steel duct. 2. Substitute the aluminum thickness in the table below for the steel duct wall gage. 3. Change the thickness of the flat type of slips and drives (for unreinforced duct) per Table. If the aluminum thickness exceeds the capacity of the lock forming machine, use .032 in. (0.81 mm) minimum. The options in using the flat drive as reinforcement have not been investigated for aluminum by SMACNA. 4. Find the thickness in dimensions (in steel) of the standing type of joint connector. Change its thickness per and change its dimension per the adjusted reinforcement. For example, a 1 in. x 22 ga (25 x 0.70 mm) (Code D) T-10 standing S in steel becomes 1 1/8 in. x .050 in. (29 x 1.27 mm) in aluminum.

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RECTANGULAR ALUMINUM DUCT ADAPTED FROM 3 IN. WG (750 PA) OR LOWER Galv. Steel ga (mm) nominal Min. Alum. equivalent* (mm) Commercial size (mm) Lbs wt/Sf. Alum. 28 (0.48) 0.023 (0.58) 0.025 (0.60) 26 (0.55) 0.027 (0.69) 0.032 (0.80) 24 (0.70) 0.034 (0.86) 0.04 (1.00) 22 (0.78) 0.043 (1.09) 0.05 ( 1.27) 20 (1.00) 0.052 (1.32) 0.063 ( 1.60) 18 (1.31) 0.067 ( 1. 70) 0.071 (1.80) 16 (1.61) 0.083 (2.11) 0.09 (2.29)

Consult Appendix page A.5 for Weights

Rectangular Elbows Small Elbows: All rectangular elbows are constructed with Pittsburgh locks on all corners with the lock placed on the sides and the top and bottom flanged to fit the lock. The gauge of metal and the end joints are the same as recommended in the Duct Construction SMACNA manual. To eliminate air turbulence and unnecessary static pressure loss the radius of the throat should be equal to the width of the elbow.

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Large Elbow Constrution: Pittsburgh locks used on all corners. The gauge of metal and end joints are as specified in Duct Construction SMACNA manual. When when end joints other than the standing seam are used, angles as specified for duct size in the manual are installed for reinforcing. When standing seam consturction is used, the joints are spaced so that the standing seams will reinforce the sides. Standing seams should be riveted.

Short radius elbows: When space will not allow the use of a standard radius elbow, a short radius elbow of construction shown is recommended. A vane is placed in the elbow, spaced according to the formula on the drawing below. The vane spacing” S” and the length of vane section “L” are equal to 1/3 of the duct width. Vane is maede of same gauge of metal as elbow and is riveted or spot welded securely to duct sides to prevent vibration. Ends should be hemmed for stiffening.

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Turning Vanes The installation of turning vanes in HVAC ductwork is perhaps one of the greatest sources of contention between mechanical contractors and HVAC engineers. Why? Because many mechanical contractors believe that turning vanes can cause the ductwork to become less efficient by increasing the pressure drop in the system, as well as adding time and expense to the overall installation. This belief seems to be based in simple logic: when there is more surface area exposed to the airflow, the amount of friction will be increased, and the harder the fan must work to achieve the required airflows. In some cases when an HVAC system is having particular difficulty in supplying the required amounts of airflow to all zones, many mechanical contractors will recommend the removal of every other turning vane at each fitting in the system in order to “reduce the friction” in the duct. This practice is a violation of SMACNA® turning vane spacing requirements, and has also been condemned by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, because it decreases the uniformity of the airflow and increases the pressure drop in the system. The question is, does reality match up with popular belief? When airflow changes direction in a duct that lacks turning vanes, the walls of the duct must absorb the sudden impact of the air in order to reorient the airflow to the direction desired. Turning vanes assist the airflow in making a smoother and more gradual change in direction, resulting in less of an impact, and thus less force transferred (as airflow velocity increases, this effect becomes more pronounced). While the turning vane surfaces do add a small amount of friction, the amount of energy lost to friction from the vanes is nothing compared to the energy lost in the impact resulting from the airflow taking an abrupt or significant change in direction. The pictures

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below illustrate the airflow resistance that occurs in a 90° square elbow with and without turning vanes.

From these figures, it can be seen that the elbow with the turning vanes is 800% more efficient than the same elbow without the vanes. If the owner desires a less expensive installation, the designer may specify radius elbows without turning vanes. A radius elbow without turning vanes is still highly efficient, and is much easier and cheaper to fabricate and install (spatial constraints must also be considered, as a smaller turning radius will decrease efficiency rapidly – minimum recommended turning radius ‘R’ without turning vanes is R=Width/2). The picture below illustrates airflow in a radius elbow.

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Note also that the radius elbow without turning vanes and having a Radius/Width (R/W) ratio of 1.0 is only 28% less efficient than the elbow with turning vanes. If the radius is increased to R/W=1.5, it will only be 12% less efficient, and if it is increased to R/W=2.0, it will have the same efficiency as the same size elbow with turning vanes! In all cases it can be clearly seen that as the airflow changes direction more gradually, the fitting pressure drop decreases, and with it, the energy required by the system fan to supply the desired airflow volume. There are certain instances where turning vanes can cause an increase in pressure drop, and this article covers two such cases. The first case is when turning vanes are installed at the entrance to a duct branch. Some contractors, in an honest effort to reduce static pressure, install turning vanes or scoops at the entrance to a duct branch, as shown in the figure below.

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This configuration can cause large pressure losses, because the turning vanes disrupt the uniformity of airflow in the main duct, which in turn causes a high pressure drop at the fitting. Branches should be installed with a 45° entry or a radius branch fitting, as shown in the pictures below.

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Note that the radius branch fitting is twice as efficient as the 45° entry fitting. While the radius branch fitting is slightly more expensive to fabricate, the installation cost is the same as the 45° entry fitting, and can greatly reduce pressure drop in systems with a high fitting count. The second example of turning vanes causing a pressure loss is where the vanes are not aligned with the ductwork properly, increasing air turbulence and creating a drop in pressure as seen in the diagram below.

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When the turning vanes are not properly aligned to run parallel with the sides of the ductwork at both the entrance and the exit of the vanes, the airflow will impact the sides of the duct and create turbulence. The effects of the improperly aligned turning vanes can range from mild to severe, and are determined by how far out of alignment the vanes are. Improper vane alignment occurs in many cases where ductwork is installed hastily or sloppily, and can be prevented by simply performing a final alignment check on all vanes prior to completing the installation. See diagram below for an example of airflow in a duct with correctly aligned turning vanes.

Turning vanes have been proven to be very valuable for reducing pressure losses and increasing system efficiency.

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Designers should always specify the highest efficiency fittings possible within the owner’s budget, to increase system efficiency at every available opportunity. Mechanical contractors should never take it upon themselves to add to or remove turning vanes from an engineer’s designs. Each system is designed to a specific total static pressure, and removing or adding turning vanes where they have not been accounted for in the engineer’s calculations will make the system function differently than intended. In a worst case scenario, the changes to the system may cause it to become incapable of supplying the required airflows to all zones.

FIG. A INDICATES THE POSITION AND SPACING OF SINGLE TYPE VANES IN A 90 DEGREE ELBOW. The width of the vanes, parallel with the air flow, should be maintained as shown to insure an even air flow thru the turn without causing turbulence. Detail 1 - Indicates the radius and width of each vane when spaced as shown in Fig. A. Detail 2 - Indicates a section of the runner that holds the vanes in place. The runner is riveted, spot welded or metal screwed to the duct sides. The runners (Details 2 and 5) are available from several manufacturers or may be made by the contractor. FIG. B INDICATES THE POSITION AND SPACING OF DOUBLE VANES IN A 90 DEGREE ELBOW VANES, SIZES UP TO 36in. IN WIDTH. In ducts of greater dimension two vanes of equal length sould be installed. Intermediate runner should be securely fastened together (rivet, etc.) to assure rigidity. The width of the vanes, parallel with the air flow, should be maintained .

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Detail 3 - Indicates the radius and width of both pieces of small double vane and method of assembly of individual vane. FIG. C INDICATES THE POSITION AND SPACING OF DOUBLE VANES IN A 90 DEGREE ELBOW. The width of the vanes should be maintained as before mertioned. detail 4 - Indicates the radius and width of both pieces of a large double vane and method of assembly. detail 5 - Indicates the shape and size of the runner that holds the large vanes in place. The runner is riveted, spot welded or metal screwed to the duct sides. All vanes and runners are made of the same gauges of metal as are used for ducts and elbows.

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The best elbow from the standpoint of economy with good performance is a radiused elbow having an inside radius equal to its width, and constructed without splitters. Splitters may be added to reduce pressure losses in cases where a shorter throat radius is necessary.

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The number of splitters in an elbow should be in accordance with the project specification. The location of the splitters can be determined from the chart on the next page. Using the chart, draw a straight line between the points representing the inside and outside radii of the elbow. Where the line intersects the various "splitter lines," such as "l of l", "l of 2", etc., read across to the extreme left, "inside radius," on the chart. That dimension is the radius of the particular splitter. The example drawn on the chart indicates that for inside and outside radii of 2 inches and 20 inches, respectively, the radii of 2 splitters should be approximately 4 1/4 inches and 9 1/4 inches.

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Bead crossbreak and reinforce flat surfaces as in straight duct.

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Installation Standards for Rectangular Ducts Using Flexible Liner
Flexible duct liner of the specified material, thickness, and density shall be furnished and installed where shown on the contract drawings. Unless otherwise indicated, the net free area of the duct dimensions given on the contract drawings shall be maintained. The duct dimensions shall be increased as necessary to compensate for liner thickness. Each layer of duct liner shall be attached with 90 percent coverage of adhesive at the liner contact surface area. All transversely oriented edges of liner not receiving metal nosing shall be coated with adhesive. Liner shall be neatly butted without gaps at transverse joints and shall be coated with adhesive at such joints before butting. Liner shall be folded and compressed in the corners of rectangular duct sections of shall be cut and fir to ensure butted edge overlapping. Longitudinal joints in the duct liner shall not occur except at the corners of ducts, unless the size of the duct and standard liner product dimensions make them necessary. Fasteners shall be located with respect to interior dimensions and regardless of airflow direction as in the accompanying table. Transversely Around Perimeter 2500 fpm (12.7 mps) At 4 in. (102mm) from and less longitudinal liner edges, at 6 in. (152 mm) from folded corners and at intervals not exceeding 12in. (305 mm) 2500fpm (12.7 mps) At 4 in. (102 mm) from to 6000 fpm (30.5 longitudinal liner edges, at 6 mps) in. (152 mm) from folded corners and at intervals not exceeding 6 in. (152 mm) Velocity Longitudinally At 3 in. (76mm) from transverse joints and at intervals not exceeding 18in. (406 mm) At 3in (76 mm) from transverse joints and at intervals not exceeding 16 in. (406 mm)

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Where dampers, turning vane assemblies, or other devices are placed inside lined ducts or fittings, the installation must not damage the liner or cause erosion of the liner. The use of metal hat sections or other build out means is optional; when used, build outs shall be secured to the duct wall with bolts screws, rivets, or welds.

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All over the country industrial designers are specifying flexible duct as part of the air conditioning system of large installations. Large office buildings especially are employing it because its flexibility makes it possible to use less space for duct work. For many years flexible duct was merely a wire spiral wrapped with a fabric that was reliable for short periods only. However, in recent years, new metal interlocking spirals and new covering materials have been developed that allow the duct to compare favorably with conventional metal duct. Different covering and spiral materials are available on standard duct that will stand temperatures from 40° F up to 350° F, and that have crush strengths ranging from 44 pounds for the large sizes up to 200 pounds for the small sizes. In addition to handling air, standard flexible ducts are available with spirals and coverings designed to carry such varied materials as foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, dusts, abrasive materials, and fumes from such corrosive materials as alcohols and formaldehyde. At the present time, the principal use of flexible ducting is in short runs where conventional duct would require numerous fittings and would be difficult to install. In this application installation costs are much smaller since one single length of

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flexible duct will do what would otherwise require several different fittings. Also, friction losses are -much less since the bends can be made with a much greater radius than would normally be used on conventional duct fittings. As with many other special types of ducts, prices are comparatively high; when total costs are figured however, including such items as fabrication costs of conventional duct lower installation costs of flexible duct, and smaller spaces required for installing flexible duct, the price is usually considerably lower than conventional duct, especially for short runs in tight places.

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The “authority having jurisdiction” should be referenced to determine what law, ordinance or code shall apply in the use of flexible duct. Ducts conforming to NFPA 90A or 90B shall meet the following requirements:

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a. Shall be tested in accordance with Sections7 to 23 of Underwriters Laboratories Standard for Factory-Made Air Ducts and Air Connectors, UL 181. b. Shall be installed in accordance with the conditions of their listing. c. Shall be installed within the limitations of the applicable NFPA 90A or 90B Standard.

There are specific restrictions and limitations related to the use of flexible ducts. Some are due to NFPA Standards, model codes and various state/local codes. Others are due to end use performance where the product was not designed for that specific use. Some, but not all inclusive, are as follows: a. Shall not be used for vertical risers serving more than two stories in height. b. Shall not be used in systems with entering air temperature higher than 250°F [121°C]. c. Shall be installed in accordance with the conditions of their listing. d. When installed in a fire-rated floor/roof ceiling assembly, ducts shall conform to the design of the tested fire-resistive assembly. e. Shall be interrupted at the immediate area of operation of electric, fossil fuel or solar energy collection heat sources to meet listed equipment clearances specified.

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f. Air Connectors (does not apply to Air Ducts) shall not be installed in lengths greater than14 ft. [4.3 m] for any given run; shall not pass through any wall, partition or enclosure of a vertical shaft with a 1 hour or more fire resistive rating; shall not pass through floors. g. Shall not penetrate walls where fire dampers are required. h. Shall not be used outdoors unless specifically designed to withstand exposure to direct sunlight and the weathering elements. i. Shall not be used to vent appliances for cooking, heating and clothes drying unless approved and recommended by the appliance manufacturer. j. Shall not be installed in concrete, buried below grade or in contact with the ground.

Install ducts fully extended. Do not install in the compressed state or use excess length as this will noticeably increase friction losses. Minimum duct length and bend radius reduces pressure drop and improves airflow.

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Excess length and tight bends radius increases pressure drop and reduces air flow.

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Do not bend ducts across a sharp corner of building materials such as joists or truss supports. The bend radius at the center line of ducts shall be equal to or greater than one duct diameter. Sharper bends increase pressure drop significantly and reduce airflow. Minimum 1 duct diameter bend radius reduces pressure drop and improves air flow.

Avoid incidental contact with metal fixtures, water lines, pipes, or conduits. Do not

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install near hot equipment (e.g. furnaces, boilers, steam pipes, etc.) that is above the recommended flexible duct use temperature.

Properly route and support the flexible duct runs.

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The combined friction and dynamic pressure losses shall be taken into consideration to properly size any duct. Pressure losses caused by the roughness of the duct wall resisting air movement are known as friction losses. Pressure losses when air flow changes direction, as caused by bends or when air flows across other system components are known as dynamic losses. Key points to prevent under sizing or oversizing of flexible ducts and achieve the designed air delivery performance: a. Use a proven method of duct sizing, one that has taken into consideration both friction and dynamic losses. Design the flexible duct system per the requirements of ACCA, Manual D (Residential) and Manual Q (Commercial). Properly take into account duct length, bend losses, sagging or routing expectations, fitting losses, etc. b. Have a good understanding of and properly use the air friction chart. Do not use data for round sheet metal duct. Since all flexible ducts are not alike, use the flexible duct manufacturer’s air friction loss data to size the ducts whenever possible. If no data is available, use the generic flexible duct friction loss chart in ACCA Manual D.
c. Use the minimum length of flexible duct needed to

make the connections. Install ducts extended to their fullest length without compression. Due to the helical configuration of flexible duct inner cores, excess longitudinal compression can dramatically affect the pressure drop. d. Keep bends greater than or equal to one (1) duct diameter bend radius.

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e. Properly route and support the flexible duct runs.

Care shall be taken to minimize sagging or snaking of the duct between supports and minimize pressure loss caused by excessive direction changes to the airflow.

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Ducts shall not be crimped against joist or truss members, pipes, wires, etc. as this increases pressure loss and reduces air flow.

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f. Properly account for bends in the duct runs. A 90degree bend has pressure drop equal to approximately twenty (20) lineal feet of flexible duct. So each 90degree bend will add twenty (20) equivalent feet to the length used for sizing calculations.

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A gradual 45-degree bend has pressure drop equal to about ten (10) lineal feet of flexible duct. Add ten (10) equivalent feet to the length for each gradual bend.

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A 180-degree offset has pressure drop equal to about forty (40) lineal feet of flexible duct. Add forty (40) equivalent feet to the length for each sharp 180-degree offset.

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Duct fittings and any bends and turns in flexible duct all produce a resistance to airflow. This resistance creates a pressure drop measured in inches water column (IWC) which is physically equivalent to the pressure drop produced by a straight section of duct. So the total pressure drop for any duct run equals the sum of the fitting pressure drops and the pressure drop of the straight duct section. To determine the correct duct size, take into account the total equivalent length of the duct run, including entrance and exit losses from the plenum to the duct and from the duct into the terminal device, the added length due to any bends, and the total length of the duct itself. Use ACCA Manual D (App. 3) equivalent length values for bends and fittings. A typical duct run from plenum to terminal device is pictured below.

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The worksheet for determining the total pressure drop of the duct run depicted in the picture above will look like this: Entrance fitting = 35 ft. Total duct length = 14 ft. 2 x 45° bends (2 x 10’) = 20 ft. 1 x 90° bend (1 x 20’) = 20 ft. Exit fitting = 35 ft. Total Equivalent Length = 124 ft. Although the distance from plenum to terminal end in this example is approximately 12 feet, the total equivalent length used to determine the correct duct diameter would be 124 feet. The equivalent length values for bends & fittings represented above are default values from ACCA Manual D and based on 900 fpm at 0.08 IWC/100’ for supply ducts and 700 fpm at 0.08 IWC/100’ for return ducts.

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Flexible duct shall be supported at manufacturer’s recommended intervals, but at no greater distance than 4’ [1.2 m]. Supporting shall be provided so that the maximum centerline sag is ½ “per foot [42 mm per meter] of spacing between supports. A connection to rigid duct or equipment may be considered a support joint.

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Long horizontal duct runs with sharp bends shall have additional supports before and after the bend approximately one duct diameter from the center line of the bend.

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Hanger or saddle material in contact with the flexible duct shall be of sufficient width to prevent any restriction of the internal diameter of the duct when the weight of the supported section rests on the hanger or saddle material. In no case will the material contacting the flexible duct be less than 1” (25 mm) wide.

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Factory installed suspension systems integral to the flexible duct are an acceptable alternative hanging method when manufacturer’s recommended procedures are followed.

Flexible ducts may rest on ceiling joists or truss supports. Maximum spacing between supports

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shall not exceed the maximum spacing per manufacturer’s installation instruction.

Support the duct between a metal connection and bend by allowing the duct to extend straight for at least one duct diameter before making the bend. This will avoid possible damage of the flexible duct by the edge of the metal collar and allow for efficient air flow and fitting performance.

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Vertically installed ducts shall be stabilized by support straps at a max. of 6’ [1.8m] on center.

Connecting, Joining and Splicing Flexible Ducts
All connections, joints and splices shall be made in accordance with the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

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Standardized installation instructions conforming to the connecting and sealing requirements of the national building codes and this standard are shown in below. CONNECTIONS-USING TAPE AND FASTENERS 1. After desired length is determined, cut completely around and through duct with knife or scissors. Cut wire with wire cutters. Fold back jacket and insulation.

2. Slide at least 1" [25 mm] of core over fitting and past the bead. Seal core to collar with at least 2 wraps of duct tape. Secure connection with clamp placed over the core and tape and past the bead.

3. Pull jacket and insulation back over core. Tape jacket with at least 2 wraps of duct tape. A clamp may be used in place of or in combination with the duct tape.

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SPLICES – USING TAPE AND FASTERNERS 1. Fold back jacket and insulation from core. Butt two cores together on a 4" [100 mm] min. length metal sleeve.

2. Tape cores together with at least 2 wraps of duct tape. Secure connection with 2 clamps placed over the taped core ends and past the beads.

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3. Pull jacket and insulation back over cores. Tape jackets together with at least 2 wraps of duct tape.

NOTES: 1. For uninsulated air ducts and air connectors, disregard references to insulation and jacket. 2. Use beaded sheet metal fittings and sleeves when using nonmetallic clamps. 3. Use tapes listed and labeled in accordance with Standard UL 181B and marked “181B-FX”. 4. Nonmetallic clamps shall be listed and labeled in accordance with Standard UL 181B and marked “181B-C”. Use of nonmetallic clamps shall be limited to 6 in. w.g. [1500 Pa] positive pressure.


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Heating, ventilating and air conditioning duct systems incorporating fibrous glass duct board provide levels of thermal and acoustical efficiency and occupant comfort that uninsulated, unsealed sheet metal systems may not deliver. Fibrous glass duct board eliminates the need to wrap or line sheet metal with insulation to achieve acceptable thermal and acoustical performance. Fibrous glass duct systems designed for use in residential situations are fabricated from three types of product: 1. Boards of resin bonded inorganic glass fibers 1”, 1 1/2”, or 2” (25mm, 38mm, or 51mm) thick, having a factoryapplied reinforced aluminum foil/kraft laminate exterior air barrier finish, for fabricating rectangular and tensided ducts, plenums and distribution boxes. 2. Lengths of preformed rigid tubular fibrous glass duct of various diameters, with a reinforced aluminum exterior finish. 3. Lengths of round flexible duct, having a reinforced inner air barrier core, resilient fibrous glass insulation, and an outer vapor retarder jacket, cut to required lengths for ducts or run-outs from fibrous glass trunk ducts or plenums to grilles and diffusers. The maximum static pressure in fibrous glass duct is 2” wg. (498 Pa), positive or negative. The maximum air velocity in fibrous glass duct is 2,400 fpm. (12 m/sec) Fibrous glass duct are limited to temperatures of 40°F (4°C) minimum inside duct and 250°F (121°C) maximum inside the duct, continuous operation. 150°F (66°C) maximum duct surface temperature.

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Restrictions: Fibrous glass duct systems should not be used in the following applications: I. Kitchen exhaust or fume exhaust ducts, or to convey solids or corrosive gases. 2. Installation in concrete or buried below grade. 3. Outdoors 4. As casings or housings of built-up equipment. 5. Immediately adjacent to high temperature electric heating coils without radiation protection. Refer to NFPA Standard 90A. 6. In more than two stories of riser. 7. With equipment of any type which does not include automatic maximum temperature controls. 8. With coal- or wood-fueled equipment. 9. Where normal operating pressure or occasional over pressure would exceed product rating. 10. As penetrations in construction where fire dampers are required. 11. Where moisture would collect in the duct. 12. Where clean room condition is needed in the duct. 13. Where condensation would occur on the duct exterior.

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Fibrous Glass Duct Construction

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The duct hanging system is composed of three elements, the upper attachment to the building, the hanger itself, and the lower attachment to the duct. The manufacturer's load ratings and application data should be followed for all devices and materials. Concrete Inserts Concrete inserts must be installed before the concrete is poured. They are used primarily where the duct layout is simple and there is enough lead time to determine accurate placement. The simplest insert is a piece of bent flat bar. Manufactured inserts are available individually or in long lengths; the latter are generally used where many hangers will be installed in a small area, or where individual inserts cannot be precisely spotted at the time of placing the concrete. Concrete Fasteners Concrete fasteners are installed after the concrete has been poured and the forms have been removed. Their application allows greater flexibility than concrete inserts because their exact location can be determined after all interferences between the various trades' work have been coordinated. There are several variations of powder-actuated fasteners, which are installed with powder-actuated tools and booster cartridges. Gas driven fasteners are also used for upper attachments. Powder-actuated or gas driven fasteners should be used within the manufacturer's published application limits. Load capacities are based on tests in representative base materials in accordance with ASTM E 1190. Structural Steel Fasteners Several types of beam clamps are available. Some should be used with a retaining clip. Powder-actuated and gas driven fasteners or threaded studs may also be used on steel.

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Welded studs may be installed using special welding equipment. Certain manufactured devices that are driven onto the flange will support either a rod or a band type hanger. Cellular Metal Deck Many office buildings are now built with a cellular steel deck that carries the electrical and communication systems and is covered with concrete fill. The wiring in the cells and the concrete above the deck preclude the use of fasteners, such as sheet metal screws, that must pierce the deck. Some manufacturers of this type of deck now offer an integral hanging system. In cases where there are no integral hangers at the required hanging points, install the rod or strap hangers before concrete placement, or install welded studs after concrete placement. In all cases, the upper attachments to the decking should be in place before the application of fireproofing materials. Upper Attachment Upper attachment methods should be selected with care. A safety factor of 4 or 5 (based on ultimate failure) is practical unless it can be shown that few unpredictable variables exist and that quality control is disciplined. Hangers Hangers are usually strips of galvanized steel or round steel rod. For hangers made of round steel rod, use uncoated hotrolled steel except where the installation is in a corrosive atmosphere. Where corrosion is a problem, hanger rods should be electro-galvanized, all-thread rods or hot-dipped galvanized rods with their threads painted after installation. Lower Attachment The lower attachment is the connection between the hanger and the duct section. Fasteners that penetrate the duct may be sheet metal screws, blind rivets, or self-tapping metal screws.

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Hanger Spacing A straight duct section is actually a box section beam of considerable strength. As in many structures, the joint is the weakest point, so that is where the support is. Duct joints, however, are normally strong enough to permit maximum hanger spacing at 8 ft. (2.44 m) or 10 ft. (3.05 m) intervals, even with one or two intermediate joints. Very wide ducts require closer hanger spacing in order to limit individual hanger loads to safe values. They also require intermediate hangers to prevent the upper portion of the duct from sagging. Riser Supports Rectangular risers should be supported by angles or channels secured to the sides of the duct with welds, bolts, sheet metal screws, or blind rivets. Here again, for ducts over 30 in. (762 mm) wide, caution must be used in fastening the support to the sheet because the expansion of the sheet due to internal pressures will tend to tear the fasteners out. Riser support intervals should be at one or two story intervals, i.e., 12 ft. (3.66 m) to 24 ft. (7.32 m), as suitable for loading. Another method is to support the riser by its reinforcing. The load can be transferred to the riser support by angles or by rods. Hanging System Selection The selection of a hanging system should not be taken lightly not only because it involves a significant portion of the erection labor, but also because an inadequate hanging system can be disastrous. In any multiple hanger system, the failure of one hanger transfers its load to adjacent hangers. If one of these fails, an even greater load is transferred to the next. The result is a cascading failure in which an entire run of duct might fall. There are many hanger alternatives, especially in the upper attachments. Besides structural adequacy, the contractor's choice of hanging system must also take into account the

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particulars of the building structure, the skills of the workmen, the availability of tooling, and the recommendations of the fastener manufacturer. Because of these variables, it is suggested that the hanging system be the contractor's choice, subject to the approval of the mechanical engineer. Figures in this manual show typical hanger construction. When special conditions require high safety factors or the ability to withstand vibrations, individual concrete or steel attachments can be specified to be capable of supporting test loads equal to the minimum rating listed when they are tested in accordance with methods described by Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc., for Pipe Hanger Equipment, Bulletin UL 203, latest edition. The supports discussed here are not seismically qualified. Refer to SMACNA's Seismic Restraint Manual for additional reinforcement required by earthquake hazards.

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VOLUME DAMPERS A damper is a device that controls the airflow in an air system or ventilating system by changing the angle of the blades and therefore the area of its flow passage. In HVAC&R systems, dampers can be divided into volume control dampers and fire dampers. Fire dampers are covered in a later section. In this section, only volume control dampers are discussed. Types of Volume Control Dampers Volume control dampers can be classified as single-blade dampers or multiblade dampers according to their construction. Various types of volume control dampers are shown in drawing below. Butterfly Dampers. A butterfly damper is a single-blade damper. A butterfly damper is made from either a rectangular sheet mounted inside a rectangular duct or a round disk placed in a round duct, as shown in the drawing below. It rotates about an axle and is able to modulate the air volume flow rate of the duct system by varying the size of the opening of the passage for air flow. Gate Dampers. A gate damper is a single-blade damper. It also may be rectangular or round. It slides in and out of a slot in order to shut off or open up a flow passage, as shown in drawing below. Gate dampers are mainly used in industrial exhaust systems with high static pressure. Split Dampers. A split damper is also a single-blade damper. It is a piece of movable sheet metal that is usually installed at the Y connection of a rectangular duct system, as shown in the drawing below.

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1. Unless otherwise permitted, dampers shall be provided with the

2. 3. 4. 5.


general configuration, materials, and application limits indicated in the drawings on page 114 and in related notes. Damper hardware must be durable and installed properly. Dampers must be stable under operating conditions. Round and rectangular damper blades must be stiffened by forming or other method if required for the duty. All single blade dampers must have a locking device to hold the dampers in a fixed position without vibration. Damper component penetration of ducts must be closed, in keeping with the sealing classification applicable for the pressure class. End bearings or other seals are required on 3 in. wg (750 Pa) static pressure class. The installation of a damper in a lined duct must not damage the liner or cause liner erosion.

Designers must show all required air volume control devices on the contract drawings. Nothing in this document implies an obligation to provide volume control devices that are not on the contract drawings. The ASHRAE Terminology Handbook chapter on testing, adjusting, and balancing defines ducts as follows: a main duct serves the system's major or entire fluid flow; a sub-main serves two or more branch mains; a branch main serves two or more terminals; a branch serves a single terminal. Illustrating dampers on contract drawings relieves contractors from interpreting damper requirements. The damper designs illustrated in the pictures on page 125 are for reduced volume control, not for positive shut off. Modified versions can be constructed for tight shut off.

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OBD (opposed blade damper) devices installed with grilles and diffusers should not be relied on to take more than 1/4 to 1/2 closure without noise. Single-blade or opposed-blade dampers are preferred over splitters. Orifice plates or perforated metal with required pressure-drop characteristics may be used in lieu of dampers to set up permanent loss in duct runs. Multiblade damper styles are normally parallel blade for two position operation; opposed blade for modulating position. Dampers with blade lengths over 48 in. (1219 mm) are normally sectioned horizontally. Motor operators for dampers should develop sufficient torque to operate properly. The motor supplier should select operators carefully. In certain cases, a fire damper may be used for flow rate control. If it serves a dual function, its operation as a fire damper must not be impaired. The installation must not develop noise or vibration. Volume control devices that are capable of throttling flow over wide pressure differentials without generating noise are normally special procurement items. Low-pressure drop dampers should not be used for widepressure differentials. Consult duct design texts and manufacturer's data for loss coefficients. The designer must carefully evaluate pressure change in ducts and provide pressure relief measures where necessary. System status changes, as in smoke control mode or energy conservation use, impose different requirements for normally open, normally closed, and modulating dampers.

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Area Separation Wall: Area wall of fire-rated construction (expressed in hours) which serves to divide the floor area of a building into acceptable area limits as set forth in the applicable code. Breakaway Connection: A joint connecting a fire damper sleeve and attached duct work which will allow collapse of the duct work during a fire without disturbing the integrity of the fire damper. Draft Stop: A continuous membrane used to subdivide a concealed space to restrict the passage of smoke, heat, and flames. Fire Damper: A normally open damper installed in an air distribution system designed to close automatically upon the detection of heat, to interrupt migratory air flow, and to restrict the passage of flames. Fire dampers are evaluated for use in either of the following conditions: a. Static application - For HVAC systems that are automatically shut down in the event of a fire or for air transfer openings in walls or partitions. b. Dynamic applications - For HVAC systems that are operational in the event of a fire. The device has been tested in accordance with a standard for safety by a recognized testing laboratory and is identified by a label affidavit for listing acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction. (Unless the conditions of approval so indicate, they are not rated for closing against moving air streams or withstanding pressure differentials) A combination fire and smoke damper must meet the requirements of a fire damper test standard and a smoke damper test standard

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Fire Damper Sleeve: A steel enclosure surrounding a fire damper, in an air passage penetrating a fire rated barrier mounted in such a manner that disruption of attached ductwork, if any, will not impair operation of the fire damper. (Some publications refer to such sleeves as a collar.) Sleeves may be omitted on certain alternative damper arrangements that are in compliance with UL 555, Standard for fire damper. Fire Rated Ceiling: A ceiling tested for fire resistance as part of a floorceiling, roof-ceiling or floor-ceiling wall assembly. Fire Rated Partition: A partition having an assembly of materials that will afford a given fire resistance rating (expressed in hours) to impede the spread of fire from one area to another. Fire Wall: A fire resistance rated wall, having protected openings, that restricts the spread of fire and extends continuously from the foundation to or through the roof, with sufficient structural stability under fire conditions to allow collapse of construction on either side without collapse of the wall. Floor-Ceiling or Roof-Ceiling Assembly: A form of construction comprised of floor-ceiling or roof-ceiling as an assembly which, when fire tested as a unit, has been assigned a fire endurance rating expressed in hours. Commonly termed a floor-ceiling assembly. Heat Responsive Link: A device that holds afire damper or fire door in an open position until a designated ambient temperature is reached, wherein the fire damper or door is released to close. The devise may be a soldered type, strut type, glass bulb type or bi-metal-lic metal as designed by UL 33, Standard for Heat Responsive Link for Fire-Protection Service. Heat Stop: A method by which temperature rise is retarded for ceiling openings in a fire rated floor-ceiling or roof-ceiling assembly. (Commonly used methods are ceiling dampers, hinged damper at duct collar inlet, UL Fire Resistance Directory Protection Systems A and B, and duct outlet protection covers Mullion, Damper: A separate steel member or members used to join dampers in a multiple damper opening, either horizontally or vertically.

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Occupancy Separation: A wall, partition, floor-ceiling assembly, or roofceiling assembly, of fire-rated construction, so located as to separate or partition off portions of a building having different fire potentials or safety requirements based on the use or occupancy of such areas. Radiation Damper: A specialized form of a heat stop installed in the air distribution portion of a fire-rated floor-ceiling or roof-ceiling assembly; the sole purpose of which is to help maintain the fire endurance rating of the assembly. (See test methods in UL 555C, Second Edition; see listings in the UL Resistance Directory and those of other listing or approving authorities.) Smoke Barrier: A continuous membrane, either vertical or horizontal, such as a wall, floor or ceiling assembly that is designed and constructed to restrict the movement of smoke. A smoke barrier may or may not have a fire resistance rating. Such barriers may have protected openings. Smoke Control Zone: A space within a building enclosed by smoke barriers or fire barriers on all sides, including the top and bottom that is part of a zoned smoke-control system Smoke Damper: A smoke damper is a device to resist the passage of smoke which: a. Is arranged to operate automatically. b. Is controlled by smoke detection. c. May be required to be positioned manually from a remote command station. d. Is rated for leakage at specified static pressure ranges and may have a temperature rating. e. May be rated as a volume control damper, in which case it shall be so marked. A smoke damper may be a fire damper or a damper serving other functions, if its location lends itself to the multiple functions. A combination fire and smoke damper shall meet the requirements of both test standards. Some smoke dampers are rated for use as volume control dampers. They will be so marked. Smoke proof Enclosure. As defined by the NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, a stair enclosure is designed to limit the movement of products of combustion produced by a fire. The smoke proof enclosure must be a continuous stair

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enclosed from the highest point to the lowest point, enclosed by two-hour rated fire barriers. Zoned Smoke Control: A smoke-control system that includes smoke exhaust for the smoke zone and pressurization for all contiguous smokecontrol zones. The remaining smoke-control zones in the building also may be pressurized. Figure 1.

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The following notes are generally applicable to most fire damper/combination fire/smoke damper installations. These details may vary by manufacturer and SHOULD NOT be used as the basis of a damper installation. THE MANUFACTURER’S INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS MUST BE USED AS THE BASIS FOR ALL DAMPER INSTALLATIONS.


1. Minimum 1 ½ x 1 ½ x 16 ga (40 x 40 x 1.6 mm) a. Retaining angles must overlap structure opening 1 inch minimum and cover corners of openings. b. 16 gage is the most commonly used thickness for the retaining angles. However manufacturers may allow lighter gage angles on some smaller dampers and may require heavier gage angles on larger dampers. Consult the manufacturer’s installation instructions for specifics.


1. Fire Damper Sleeve Clearance within Wall/ Floor Opening a. Minimum 1/8 inch per linear foot (10 mm per linear meter) of damper both dimensions. (1/4’ (6 mm) minimum) b. Clearance requirements for damper sleeves within a wall opening are based on 1/8 inch per foot (10 mm per meter) of width (or height) unless otherwise stated in the listing of the assembly. The sleeve may

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rest on the bottom of the opening, and need not be centered. (Fractional dimensions shall be taken as the next largest whole foot.) Example: A 30 inch x 24 inch fire damper sleeve is installed in a wall opening. The opening shall be 30 3/8 inches wide (1/8 inch X 3 feet) by 24 1/4 inches high (1/8 inch x 2 feet). The sleeve is retained in the wall/floor by use of steel retaining angles (A). The dimensions required for the opening shall be those remaining after the opening has been framed and fire resistive materials provided where required (see Figure 6-1). The fire resistive material shall be equal to the requirements for fire resistive material used in the constructed wall so that a continuous rating exists at the wall penetration. The contractor erecting the wall is responsible for providing the fire resistive material and correct size opening to achieve the required clearance. c. The clearance may be greater than the 1/8 inch per foot (10 mm per meter) of damper as allowed by damper manufacturers’ installation instructions. Consult with manufacturers for maximum allowable.

C. DAMPER SLEEVE Type of Connection Rigid Duct RoundRectangular Duct Dimension 24 in. (610 mm) maximum diameter 24 in. (610 mm) maximum height and 36 in. (915 mm) maximum width over 24 in. (610 mm)diameter over 24 in. (610 mm) height and over 36 in. (915 mm) width 12 in. (305 mm) and down 13-30 in. (330-760 mm) 31-54 in. (785-1370 mm) 55-84 in. (1400-2130 mm) Sleeve Gage 16 + (1.613+mm)


Round or Rectangular

14+ (1.994+mm)


Round or Rectangular

26 (0.55 mm) 24 (0.70 mm) 22 (0.85 mm) 20 (1.0 mm)

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85 in. (2160 mm) and up 1. Approved Fire Damper Curtain or multi- blade type E. RETAINING ANGLES FASTENED TO SLEEVE 1. Secure Retaining Angles to Sleeve ONLY on 8” centers (203 mm) with:

18 (1.3mm)


a. 1/2” (12 mm) long welds b. 1/4” (6 mm) bolts and nuts c. No. 10 Sheet Metal Screws d. Minimum 3/16” (5 mm) steel rivets e. Note: The size and spacing requirements may differ by damper manufacturer. Consult manufacturer’s installation instructions for specifics. F. DAMPER ATTACHMENT TO SLEEVE 1. Secure Damper to Sleeve on 8” centers (203 mm) with: a. 1/2” (12 mm) long welds b. ¼” (6 mm) bolts and nuts c. No. 10 Sheet Metal Screws d. Minimum 3/16” (5 mm) steel rivets G. CONNECTION TO DUCT 1. Connect Duct to Sleeve as shown in chart in figure 1

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H. ACCESS DOOR OR PANEL 1. Install as shown in Figure 1.

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ITEM I Sealing of the fire damper retaining angles is not a requirement of an approved damper installation. This detail is seldom specified by system designers and is virtually never included in the contractor’s pricing for the dampers on a project. If the local authority having jurisdiction mandates that the angles be sealed, contractors should issue a Request for Information (RFI) to design professionals such that the proper approved sealants be used. In no case should the retaining angles be sealed with any product not approved by the damper manufacturer including Through Penetration Fire stop products. Using unapproved products could be a violation of the damper manufacturer’s conditions of test and listing, could void the UL listing of the damper and could render the damper inoperable. ITEM 2 Introduction of any materials including mineral wool, ceramic fiber or sealants of any kind into the required expansion space between the damper sleeve and fire partition has not been tested, has not been approved, and is not permitted by damper manufacturers. Doing so could be a violation of the manufacturer’s conditions of test and listing, could void the UL listing of the damper and could render the damper inoperable. Indiscriminate and unnecessary deviations from standard fire damper installations should be avoided. Unless a deviation is specifically approved by the damper manufacturer, it could compromise the function for which the damper was ultimately installed.

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DUCT DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS SYSTEM TYPES OF SUPPLY DUCT SYSTEMS There are several basic types of supply and return duct systems. Any one of the system types, or a combination of different types, can be utilized to fit the needs of a particular structure. The general types of supply duct systems include: • radial system • extended plenum system • reducing plenum system • reducing trunk system • perimeter loop system. Radial system The radial duct system in its simplest form consists of a central supply plenum that feeds a number of individual branch ducts arranged in a generally radial pattern (see Figure 1 ). It also can be designed and sized so that each individual run leaving the plenum can feed two or more supply outlets. This is frequently the case because of the number of supply outlets required to condition the structure successfully and the amount of space at the plenum available for takeoffs. The radial system commonly is applied in attics, crawl spaces, and in slab on grade installations (with the ducts embedded in the slab). It can be used with upflow, downflow, or horizontal air handlers and furnaces.

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Extended plenum system The extended plenum duct system (see Figure 2 on the next page) generally consists of one or two boxlike pieces of ductwork extending from the main plenum at the indoor unit. This extended plenum has the same dimensions (height and width) from the starting collar to the end of the run. Branch runs to feed the supply outlets are tapped into the extended plenum(s). The best results are achieved when the maximum length of the extended plenum is not greater than 24 ft from the air handler or furnace. If two plenums are used, this total length can be extended to 48 ft (see Figure 3 on the next page). If longer distances are required based on the physical layout of the structure, consideration should be given to using one of the other designs discussed below (such as the reducing plenum or the reducing trunk duct system). There is another area of concern with the extended plenum system-because of the higher velocities in the plenum, it is possible that the branches closest to the indoor blower may not feed the desired amount of air (cfm).

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Never start a branch run from the end cap of an extended plenum. For best results, the starting collar of a branch run should never be any closer than 24 in. from the end cap. To sum up, observe the following general rules for the extended plenum system: • Single plenums should not exceed 24 ft in length. • Double plenums should not exceed 48 ft in total length.

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• Keep branch run starting collars 24 in. from the end caps. • Never locate a takeoff in the end cap. Reducing plenum system The reducing plenum duct system (see Figure 4) can be used when the physical size or layout of the structure calls for greater distances than the length constraints imposed on the extended plenum (24 ft). The concept of the reducing plenum system is simplewhen the air velocity lost to the branch runs reaches approximately 50%, the plenum size is reduced to regain the velocity in the remaining portion of the plenum. This reduction also improves the air flow characteristics at the branch ducts that are closest to the airhandling unit. The 50% rule is demonstrated in Figure 5 on the next page. Note that at the start of the plenum, there is an available air volume of 1,200 cfm and an available velocity of 900 fl/min. After the third branch run, a total of 600 cfm has been distributed to the branches and the velocity in the plenum has been reduced to 450 fl/min. These conditions indicate that the proper location for the reduction in the plenum is after the third branch. The outlet side of the reduction is sized to restore the velocity in the plenum to approximately 900 fl/min. This system is relatively easy to fabricate and install. Additional sheet metal sometimes is required to build the system, but if done correctly it can deliver good results. It may be necessary to balance the system branch dampers properly.

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Reducing trunk system The reducing trunk duct system (see Figure 6 on the next page) is very similar to the reducing plenum system, with the exception that the trunk run is reduced in size after each branch takeoff. These multiple reductions make it possible to maintain a constant velocity (ft/min) in the trunk even though the total air volume is reduced as each branch is supplied. This type of system generally takes more sheet metal to build and requires more labor to fabricate and install. Another major concern is that there are more joints to seal (to pre- vent air leakage). The reducing trunk system also can be applied using lengths of round duct and manufactured fittings. Round duct systems can significantly reduce the cost of labor for fabri- cation and installation, and produce very satisfactory results if properly applied. Another configuration that may be used in some cases is known as the primarysecondary trunk system (see Figure 7).

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This type of system has a primary trunk and two or more secondary trunks. The "tee" fitting located at the end of the primary trunk in this system performs the same function as the reduction in thereducing trunk system. Each secondary trunk has a cross-sectional area that is smaller than that of the primary trunk. The secondary trunks are sized to deliver the proper air volume to each branch at the proper velocity. This type of system can be used very successfully in a structure that spreads out in two or more directions.

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Perimeter loop system The perimeter loop duct system (see Figure 8 on the next page) is well-suited for buildings that are constructed using concrete slab on grade. It generally performs better than the

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radial system in such applications, especially in cold climates. However, the perimeter loop system does have the disadvantage of being a little more difficult to design and more expensive to install. It is basically laid out around the perimeter of the structure next to the edge of the slab. The entire perimeter loop is the same size duct. The loop is fed by four or more ducts radiating out from the central plenum. They are usually the same size as the loop duct. The boot boxes are sized to deliver the proper cfm to each room of the structure.


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Decisions regarding the location of a supply air distribution system should be made based on the winter design temperature for the structure's geographic location. Table 1 in ACCA's Manual J lists design conditions for locations in the U.S. and Canada. This information should be consulted to ensure that the proper type and location of duct system is selected for the structure in question. The ASHRAE Fundamentals Handbook contains HVAC design criteria for most countries around the world. The general guidelines state that if the winter design temperature for the location of the structure is above 35°F, then both perimeter floor and ceiling distribution systems will provide satisfactory results. If the winter design temperature for the location of the structure is below 35°F, the ceiling distribution system is not recommended and the floor distribution system should be considered. A modified type of ceiling distribution system can be used if the registers are moved closer to the outside walls and the primary air is directed out of the occupied zone and toward the window and door openings. There are six basic locations for supply duct systems in residential structures. Most residential structures can accommodate one or more of these configurations. One of the most important jobs of the designer is to select the type of installation that best suits the air distribution requirements of the structure and the needs and desires of the customer. This must be balanced with the cost of the installation and the comfort conditions within the structure. The six basic locations for supply duct systems are as follows: • attic installations • basement installations • between floors of multistory structures

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• crawl space installations • conditioned space installations • embedded in concrete slab. Attic installations Attic installations lend themselves readily to all of the duct system types. A duct system located in an attic must be insulated and must have a vapor barrier installed to prevent condensation on the exterior of the ductwork. Condensation can cause corrosion and rusting of the duct system and possible structural damage to the ceilings. All joints and side seams must be sealed to prevent duct leakage. Some local codes do not permit the use of duct tape as a sealant. In these cases, waterproof mastic must be used. Depending on the type of equipment being used, the air handler or furnace may be installed in the attic space, in the garage area, or in an alcove or closet in the interior of the structure. A packaged unit located outside the structure can be installed on the roof, on the ground, or on a stand raised above ground level. Special insulation and waterproofing must be applied to all ductwork that is exposed to outdoor weather conditions. The air handler should be located where the shortest duct runs possible are attained. The shorter the duct runs are, the lower the resistance to air flow and the lower the heat gains and heat losses will be. One disadvantage to locating the air handler in the attic space is serviceability. Provisions for service access must be provided. Most local codes require a floored walkway from the attic entry to the unit. A floored area must extend at least 3 ft on all sides of the unit to provide a platform for service work. Another consideration to take into account when the furnace or air handler is installed in an attic is the requirement for an auxiliary drain pan, along with a condensate line and/or emergency float switch to shut down the system in case of a condensate overflow.

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Locating the return air filter grilles in the conditioned space is recommended with attic installations. This allows the homeowner to change the filters without having to enter the attic. The duct system types that lend themselves to attic installations include the extended plenum, the reducing trunk, and the radial arrangements. A wide variety of duct materials can be used with attic installations. However, great care must be taken when installing a flexible duct system. Improper installation that allows sagging, sharp bends, kinks, and crimping of flexible duct will increase the friction loss of the system and increase the total amount of static pressure that the indoor blower must overcome. This can result in service problems and possible equipment failure. It is always necessary to follow the recommendations of the manufacturer when installing a system utilizing flexible duct products. Basement installations Basement installations also lend themselves to all of the duct system types. A basement system must be insulated and must have a vapor barrier installed to prevent condensation on the exterior of the ductwork if the basement is to be unconditioned. If the basement is to be conditioned, then the ductwork is considered to be in a conditioned space and insulation may not be required. However, it is recommended that a duct liner be installed for sound attenuation. All joints and side seams must be sealed to prevent duct leakage. Again, be aware that some local codes do not permit the use of duct tape as a sealant. In these cases, waterproof mastic must be used. The air handler or furnace may be installed in the basement, or outside the structure if a packaged unit is to be installed. Any ductwork exposed to outdoor weather conditions must be specially treated with insulation and waterproofing.

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As in an attic installation, the air handler should be located where the shortest duct runs possible are attained. One advantage to locating the air handler in the basement is serviceability. Return air filters may be located at the unit in a basement installation, or filter grilles in the conditioned space may be used. The duct system types best-suited to basement installations are the extended plenum and the reducing trunk arrangements. Due to headroom and appearance considerations, the radial duct system does not always lend itself to basement installations, although it can be used in some cases. All types of duct materials can be used with basement installations. However, flexible duct materials are discouraged, largely because of the appearance and the problem of providing proper support. Sagging ductwork will increase the friction loss of the system and increase the total amount of static pressure that the indoor blower must overcome, resulting in service problems and even equipment failure. Between floors of multistory structures Between-floor installations usually are installed in firdown areas, with branch ducts running between the combination ceiling/floor joists. These systems generally are constructed of lined sheet metal. Sometimes duct board is used for sound and noise control. Between-floor ductwork normally does not require insulation, since it is located within the conditioned space. Ductwork that passes through an unconditioned space must be insulated and must have a vapor barrier installed to prevent condensation from accumulating on the exterior of the ductwork. All joints and side seams must be sealed to prevent duct leakage. If local codes do not permit the use of duct tape as a sealant, waterproof mastic must be used. The air handler or furnace

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may be installed in a garage, in an interior alcove or closet as permitted by local codes, or, if a packaged unit is to be installed, outside the structure. Any ductwork located outside the structure must be specially treated with insulation and waterproofing if exposed to outdoor weather conditions. The air handler should be located where the shortest duct runs possible are attained. One of the major advantages of a between-floor installation is that the heat gains and losses often associated with ductwork are negated because the ductwork is in the conditioned space. With this type of installation, return air filters may be located at the unit, or filter grilles in the conditioned space may be used. The reducing trunk and the extended plenum configurations are the most common types of duct systems installed between the floors of the multistory structures. Many types of duct materials can be used with between-floor installations. However, flexible duct materials generally are discouraged because they are not as durable as metal ductwork. Once the duct system is installed, it is a major project to make repairs if needed. Crawl space installations Crawl space installations are adaptable to all of the duct system types. A crawl space system must be insulated and must have a vapor barrier installed to prevent condensation on the exterior of the ductwork. All joints and side seams must be sealed to prevent duct leakage. If local codes do not permit the use of duct tape as a sealant, waterproof mastic must be used. The air handler or furnace may be installed in the crawl space, in the garage area, in the interior of the structure as permitted by local codes, or, if a packaged unit is to be installed, outside the structure. The air handler should be located where the shortest duct runs possible are attained. The main disadvantage to

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locating the air handler or furnace in the crawl space is serviceability. Provisions for service access must be made. With crawl space installations, return air filter grilles in the conditioned space should be used. The duct system types that lend themselves to crawl space installations include the extended plenum, the reducing trunk, the radial, and the perimeter loop arrangements. Although many types of duct materials can be used in crawl space installations, flexible duct materials are discouraged due to the problem of providing proper support for the ductwork. Conditioned space installations Some basement installations, installations between floors, and fir-down duct systems can be considered "conditioned space" installations. Each of these types of systems has its own considerations, previously discussed. Generally speaking, duct systems that are installed within a conditioned space do not require thermal insulation to prevent heat loss and heat gain. It is desirable, however, to use duct materials such as duct liners or duct board systems constructed properly for sound attenuation. In warm, moist climates, duct systems installed in conditioned spaces may need to be insulated to prevent condensation from forming on the exterior surfaces of the ductwork and causing mold, mildew, and structural damage. The most common types of duct systems applied to conditioned space installations are the extended plenum and the reducing trunk arrangements. Both the extended plenum and the reducing trunk systems frequently are installed in fir-down areas above hallways, cabinets, and closets. They typically are associated with the high inside wall type of supply outlets. Embedded in concrete slab Different types of construction present different problems for system designers and installers. In climates where the

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average winter temperature is below 35°F, slab on grade construction is used. The floor distribution duct system must be embedded in the slab, which can create several challenges for the designer/installer. Most codes require that the duct system in such cases be installed above the final lot grade. If metal duct material is to be used, it must be treated to prevent rust and corrosion and completely encased in a minimum of 2 in. of concrete grout. Failure to treat the metal duct properly can lead to the failure of the duct system due to rust and corrosion. In areas where the ground water table is high or proper drainage is not ensured, the collapse of the duct system can occur in as little as five years. When this happens, the system usually must be abandoned and the supply duct system must be installed in some other location (e.g., in the ceiling). It also means filling the outlet boots with concrete and most likely replacing the flooring materials in the structure. Needless to say, this is a very expensive and time-consuming undertaking-one that is not possible in some multistory structures without major remodeling work. Sometimes the floor must be removed completely so that repairs can be made. The duct system must be graded back toward the supply air plenum for drainage and removal of any ground water that may enter the duct system. The best way to avoid such problems is to make sure that the design and installation are right the first time. PVC duct materials offer a large advantage over metal in this type of system installation. PVC duct systems do not need to be encased in concrete grout or treated for corrosion, but they still must be graded back toward the plenum for ground water removal and installed above the final lot grade. A wide selection of fittings, boots, and plenums constructed from PVC materials is available today. When PVC duct materials are used, all joints are glued, thus creating a water-resistant duct system. (Some codes do not allow for the use of screws in the assembly of PVC duct systems.)

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Another factor that is sometimes a detractor to the embedded slab system is the code requirement stipulating that the duct system must be installed above the final grade. The builder may be required to increase the foundation stem wall height from the normal 16 in. to 20 to 24 in. to accommodate the duct system installation. In some areas, builders may resist this additional expense in the cost of the structure. The boot boxes and terminal devices used with an embedded concrete slab system should be located under or near doors and windows. They must discharge into the unoccupied space of the room to prevent the primary airstream from coming in contact with the room's occupants. The number of outlets for each room depends on the room's usage, its physical layout, cfm requirements, and the heating and cooling loads as determined by a room-by-room load calculation. When a floor distribution system is used, it is always a good idea to be mindful of furniture placement in the room. The main goal of good system design is to have the outlets discharging into the unoccupied zone of the room. The "occupied zone" of a room is generally defined as the volume of space that exists between the floor and 6 ft above the floor in the vertical direction, and is 2 ft or more from the walls in the horizontal direction (see Figure 9). Outlets should not be placed where room furnishings will cover them. This may require having multiple outlets in some rooms to ensure that the distribution air being delivered matches the load.

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NEOPRENE - industry standard for high velocity systems. A Fibreglass fabric, double coated with polychloroprene. Strong, airtight, waterproof and moisture resistant. Resistant to most acids, alkalis, oil and gasoline.

DUROLON - convenient for inside and outside flexible connector, for medium or high velocity applications, industrial and commercial applications. Durolon is made of Fibreglass fabric double coated with a special synthetic rubber. Has broad service temperature range and resists sunlight, weathering, ozone and abrasion. Ideal for outdoor applications.

CANFLEX - general purpose H.V.A.C. material. Replaces Canvas. A polyvinyl chloride, (P.V.C.), coated woven polyester fabric with properties surpassing canvas at comparable cost. Considering its great microbiologic resistance, sunlight and ozone, canflex is well indicated in humid, outside or underground areas.

THERMAFAB - for higher temperature use, (to 260°C), or with a high risk of fire. A special Fibreglass fabric coated with silicone rubber. Broad temperature range and superior resistance to weathering, aging, sunlight and many chemicals.

ENVIROFAB - An environmentally friendly fabric, manufactured by reprocessing discarded or re-claimed materials. Black on one side and UV reflective white on the other side.

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