Ductwork fabrication is a complex process that involves several key steps. It starts with choosing the appropriate sheet metal based on environmental conditions, system requirements, and project specifications. It includes creating a detailed CAD design that considers custom fittings and optimizing airflow to meet specific needs. Precise cutting and shaping are next. For example, a shear or plasma cutter cuts the flat sheets of metal to the desired sizes and shapes. Then, a bending machine manipulates the sheets to create bends of varying lengths and angles. Finally, assembling the cut and bent pieces into ducts requires joining techniques such as welding or riveting.
Properly fabricated and installed ductwork can save building owners hundreds of dollars in energy bills annually. A tightly fitted duct resists leakage and keeps indoor temperatures stable, which reduces heating and cooling costs.
When fabricating ducts, it is important to follow safety guidelines. For example, workers should wear eye protection to guard against debris and sparks. Gloves are also essential to protect the hands from cuts and punctures. And respiratory masks help prevent inhaling fumes and dust during the process.
Depending on the application, different metals are used for ductwork fabrication. For example, aluminum is popular for ducts in HVAC systems because it offers high strength and low weight. Stainless steel is useful for industrial applications because it resists corrosion. And copper is often used in specialized applications because it provides anti-microbial properties. Duct insulation can minimize heat loss and condensation, and a protective coating helps maintain the metal’s appearance and protect against corrosion and moisture.