Flexible Connectors Protect Your Industrial Fan and Ductwork
Flexible Connectors, or flex connectors, are very effective for protecting the fan wheel and ductwork, and they can also be a highly cost-effective alternative to costly design adjustments during installation.
You can find a detailed and helpful overview of flexible duct connectors on AirPro rep SysTech Design’s website. As SysTech describes it, “Flex duct connectors provide flexibility along the 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.”
3 Reasons You Might Need Flexible Connectors
While each application is unique, there are three primary reasons why you would need flexible connectors in an industrial fan application. We’ll explain each in detail.
Flexible Connectors Prevent Heat Transfer from Reaching the Fan Inlet
High temperatures cause materials to expand. That means that when you fire up your fan from room temperature, the expanding ductwork can press the inlet cone into the fan wheel, which can cause damage. Flexible duct connectors can isolate and absorb the expansion, protecting the fan inlet and interior.
Vibration Isolators and Flex Connectors Go Hand-In-Hand
Another common reason for flex connectors is the presence of vibration isolators. Many fans are installed in areas where they cannot bolt down directly to the concrete. Whether on a mezzanine or other structure that can’t support the vibration of the fan, it requires isolators between the base of the fan and the foundation, making flexible duct connectors a must. That’s because, without the flexible connector, the fan will oscillate on its isolators and eventually split the hard ductwork.
Accommodate Minor Design Flaws with Flexible Connectors
The third and probably most common reason to use flex connectors is to accommodate minor design flaws that result in misalignment between the fan and the ductwork. You may find during installation that the ductwork doesn’t exactly match the fan’s floor-to-centerline height. Flexible connectors can effectively and efficiently solve this problem, preventing costly repairs.
Hear it from an Application Engineer
Chet White, Senior Application Engineer and Sales Manager, explains and demonstrates the need for flexible duct connectors in this 2½-minute video.
To determine the right specifications for your centrifugal fan application, reach out and connect with one of our application engineers to discuss the details of your project.
Here are related posts, pages and case studies that might be of interest as you think about your application.
- On Solid Ground: Fan Foundation Recommendations
- Fan Installation Startup Assistance
- Process of Elimination: Fan Vibration Isolation Considerations
- Case Study: Combined Heat & Power
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