In ducted industrial air systems, dynamic stresses caused by fan vibrations, temperature fluctuations, and other sources can lead to maintenance issues and premature equipment failure and system downtime. Flex duct connectors provide flexibility along duct when connected to rotating equipment isolating and alleviating these stresses. The industrial flex connector is either round or rectangular and is a “spool piece”, constructed of flex material with flange connectors on either end.
Industrial Flex Connectors are designed to handle high temperature, high pressure or vacuum, high material laded airstream or aggressive chemicals that are present in an airstream.
In specifying flex duct connectors for an air system, consideration must be given to:
- Axial, transverse and torsional movement – Must know this information if extreme. Standard lateral and axial displacement is +/- 0.5 inch.
- The temperature of the airstream – Flex material selection is based on temperature, with EPDM with Nylon insert @ 275° F a base standard.
- Pressure-vacuum design to +/- 80 inches WG is our standard.
- Noise levels – Connectors are a point of breakout noise, see Acoustic Flexible Connectors
- Abrasive nature of particulate in the airstream – Optional interior metal liner may be required.
- Corrosive nature of the airstream – Determines metal selection for the connector flanges, flex material, and liner if required.
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Flex Connector Options
- Flanges – Either carbon steel, galvanized, or stainless steel.
- Flow liners – durable metal liners to protect the flex material from abrasive particulate in the airstream and provide some noise attenuation.
- Backing bars – to fix the flex material into position.
- Special paint – applications above 500° F need to specify high-temperature paints, i.e. carbozinc to 750° F.
- Flex materials – readily available options include Viton, silicone impregnated fiberglass belt to 500° F, PTFE coated fiberglass fabric to 600° F, and other materials available for higher temperatures.
- Acoustic Packing – to attenuate break-out noise is fiberglass or mineral wool.
- Gasketing – to be compatible with the airstream constituents.
Flexible connectors are used on the inlets and outlets of fans, air handlers and pollution control equipment in many industrial facilities including:
- Petrochemical plants
- Lime and cement plants
- Paper mills
- Manufacturing plants
Applications for flexible connectors and expansion joint range from small industrial fans to utility-grade expansion joints used in pollution control duct and stacks. As a system integrator using flex joints along with other air system components, we will work with you to determine the most secure flexible connector for your duct system requirements.
SysTech offers the best solutions for all your flexible connectors and expansion joint applications.