Now is the Time to Offer Your Customers Pre-Insulated Ductwork
Since the early 2000s when Kingspan KoolDuct entered the United States market, many contractors around the country have found a solution with phenolic ductwork. This pre-insulated duct offers higher insulated values and less air leakage than traditional ductwork without the need for fiberglass insulation. The last few years have seen great strides for the Phenolic industry with the leadership of SMACNA and new tools ready to equip estimation, design and fabrication for today’s market.
Installing Pre-Insulated KoolDuct Ductwork
KoolDuct is a low carbon alternative to traditional sheet metal ductwork that provides your duct and insulation in one easy to install product. With simple unflanged or 4-bolt connections (similar to TDC), fewer hangers and up to a 72% reduction in weight, KoolDuct can increase installation speeds and keep your team on schedule.
Installation practices follow Kingspan or SMACNA guidelines for phenolic ductwork. For brief training from Delta Air Systems or one of our trained fabrication partners, we’re always happy to help your installation go as smooth as possible!
Fabrication of Non Metal Ductwork with Kingspan KoolDuct
While many things are similar, fabricating ductwork out of a 3 dimensional phenolic material will have several differences from traditional metal ductwork. Where metal ductwork can be cut with plasma or laser based machinery, KoolDuct requires processes that can account for the Z access such as CNC or bladed machinery. Once materials have been cut, fabricators will be able to fold or assemble their ductwork to shape.
Connection types with either unflanged or flanged methods are paired with proper reinforcement by Kingspan or SMACNA guidelines to reach up to a 4” positive or 3” negative static pressure design. KoolDuct can be used in a variety of applications, with many users finding the benefits of a smooth aluminum interior free of loose fibers.
The Phenolic Duct Construction Standards Changed Everything
Bringing a new product to market often receives an understandable level of scrutiny. In the early years, Introducing KoolDuct to the US market was an uphill battle, even with the extensive testing, certifications and long history Kingspan KoolDuct had in the UK. Often engineers would ask “What does SMACNA say about Phenolic Ductwork?” regardless of their thoughts on the product. Five SMACNA Contractors answered that question with the help of SMACNA’s Eli Howard, setting standards that would guide the Phenolic duct industry.
The SMACNA Phenolic Duct Construction Standards were published in early 2015. This was an important step for the Phenolic industry not only for those who fabricate, but for the engineering community as well and opened up the market ready for a better product.
Phenolic Duct Estimation needed to be on the same playing field as Sheet Metal
Benchmark Enterprise Software launched in November 2015 as a powerful AutoCAD Add-on that includes a full library of Kingspan KoolDuct Phenolic ductwork, in addition to Sheet Metal. This allows estimators and detailers to line item costs, estimate and draw Phenolic ductwork the first time in a 3D CAD environment. Benchmark will automatically help design the right connections between ductwork and equipment using built in SMACNA construction standards, including those for Phenolic Duct Construction. When the drawing is done, Benchmark’s fabrication module will allow nesting off of the same 3D files used for estimation and detailing and output directly to a wide variety of fabrication machinery.
Having a CAD software tool designed for Phenolic Ductwork makes giving your customers the option of higher R-values and lower air leakage is a more viable option. For more information on Benchmark Enterprise Software visit www.hvaccadsoftware.com.
Automation of Fabrication is Important for Long Term Growth
Sheet Metal duct fabrication has seen great improvements over the years as Plasma Cutters and Coil Lines have become more prominent. Phenolic duct fabrication has seen its fair share of improvements as well. CNC machines specifically designed to handle the phenolic duct thicknesses and fabrication methods are available from GoMech, Axyz, Pathfinder and others. These CNC machines can handle both fittings and straight duct. Other specialized machines and tools are available for Phenolic duct as well from these manufacturers.
Supporting New HVAC Technology is Vital to the Future of Our Industry
Pre-insulated Phenolic Ductwork like Kingspan KoolDuct is changing the HVAC industry. It allows you to offer a lightweight, space saving and LEED Point eligible option to your customers that can add value to their project, both now and with future energy bills. There’s never been a better time for you to get involved with your next project!