This issue marks the beginning of a year-long intense look at the world of ducting, where we will examine regional developments and also milestones achieved elsewhere. By B Surendar.
Ducting demands a 360 approach, such is the vastness and all-pervasive nature of the industry. In the Middle East alone, ducting is a $400 million industry. If at all anything, the number reflects the significance of ducting in our everyday lives.
Of the $400 million, sheet metal hardware accounts for $100 million, with adhesives and insulation accounting for $150 million each.
In the coming months, we hope to look at the three facets, and more. For instance, we will be examining the manufacturing of sheet metal and its fabrication into ducts. We will be looking at installation procedures, including the crucial element of joining the ducts and the different types of ducting connections. Equally, we will be looking at the situations that arise out of extended project schedules and their impact on ducts.
A key area of focus will be insulation of ducts, including the use of adhesives, the use of insulation materials and the different types of materials, be they foam, fibreglass, rockwool or glasswool. While with insulation, we will be examining correct installation procedures from the viewpoints of vapour barrier, anti-fungal properties, mould and acoustics.
Another key area of focus will be the maintenance and cleaning of ducts, including mould remediation. And this will take us into the world of robotics.
Speaking of which, we will be looking at how robots are deployed for sealing the ducts to prevent air leakage, so very essential from an energy efficiency point of view. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, 20-25% of energy is lost in old buildings owing to leaking ducts. This translates to $2 billion in energy loss a year. So cleaning and sealing of ducts helps maintain good indoor air quality (IAQ) and energy efficiency.
Parallel to all this, we will be looking at fabric ducting, and how and where it can be applied.
Articles in this campaign will take the forms of news updates, case studies, technical papers and interviews. This is your campaign, and we invite you to willingly come forward and share information. The mission is to bring about a perceptible change in the way we look at ducts and translate that into action, including best practices in manufacturing, installation, insulation and maintenance.