Duct construction methods?

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Duct construction methods vary based on the type of duct and physical space constraints. There are three main types of duct systems: low, medium, and high pressure. Components like diffusers and filters may be needed. Ducts maximize ventilation efficiency and eliminate vibration to reduce pressure loss. Sealing joints and seams is important to avoid air pressure loss.

In most cases, the methods for constructing the duct depend on the type of duct installed and the constraints of the physical space. The general process is generally pretty much the same for all pipelines; the biggest differences usually focus on the materials used and the specifics of the building layout. In general, there are three main types of duct systems: low pressure, medium pressure and high pressure. Identifying the channel system in question will help determine the type of labor required for the job and will also frame the methods needed for optimal construction. Different tools and components may be needed for different projects as well. Components such as diffusers, logs, flues, vents, roof penetrations, and filters may or may not be needed, and knowing when and how to use these and other similar pieces is an important part of building in most cases.

Understanding of the different types of duct systems
Ducts are basically large passageways built into the walls or ceilings of various structures to channel and direct airflow. They are usually connected to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Homes and offices built with central air almost always have the ducts provided for in the drafting of the structural project; in some ways these are the easiest to install as they are built with the structure and can be integrated seamlessly. It is common for older structures to be retrofitted later with ventilation systems, although duct construction in these cases may need to be more carefully planned to accommodate a structure that may not easily be able to accommodate all systems.

Most duct systems, new or existing, fall into one of three categories based on the pressure they are designed to withstand or support. They all look similar in terms of physical qualities, but things like how much support they’ll need inside and how much space they’ll need inside walls or ceilings often require careful calculation. The precise method a building engineer will need to use also depends heavily on the structure’s contours, its size, and features such as air circulation between floors. Variables including the number of vent openings and their sizes are also considered in most cases.

Maximize efficiency
All duct construction features components that maximize ventilation efficiency. Key features include corner locks, elbows, hooks, T-connections, fire dampers, access doors and vents. Duct fittings include hoods, offsets, single branch taps, square to round transitions, register box, and coiled wire reinforced round flexible conduit. The galvanized sheet used should have a zinc coating on both sides of the sheet equal to at least 1.25 ounces (35.4 g) of zinc per square foot (0.09 square meter) and generally should be of lock forming quality.

Focus on the vibrations
The best duct design is one that uses these construction components to eliminate vibration, which is achieved by tightly installing rigid, constructed metal ducts. Rectangular ducts must be made with vertical seams and reinforced with angle iron to stiffen the sheet and avoid vibration. The velocity in the main duct and remote branches should be reduced gradually to distribute the air evenly. This is done by increasing the size of the duct and usually reduces friction in smaller ducts.

Problems with pressure loss
Reducing “leaks” is another important aspect of duct construction. Loss of air pressure within the duct system can be avoided by welding, welding or otherwise sealing all joints and seams to make them airtight. They can also be riveted or spot welded. Lap joints must be made so that the outlet of one duct run fits into the inlet end of the next duct run in the direction of the air flow.

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