The very best stainless steel air distribution product makers create HVAC components for commercial or critical environments. Their products are different from the ductwork, diffusers, stainless steel grilles, and other components you can buy at your local big-box building store. That’s because they’re made to reduce contamination and direct air in specific ways.
Many of their products also incorporate HEPA and ULPA filtration. These remove airborne pathogens and leave the air purifier throughout the building.
Where the stainless steel HVAC parts are used?
Environments that must be clean and sterile call for stainless steel HVAC parts. These places, including hospitals, labs, food processing plants, pharma manufacturing, and more, require clean air to prevent contamination during production, testing, patient care, or processing.
Even some large commercial buildings, like offices, need stainless steel HVAC components and HEPA filtration. As more and more people become concerned with air quality and viral loads, these HVAC components will be in even high demand.
What are the filters made of?
Most people are already familiar with HEPA filters. They come in everything from single-room air purifiers to vacuum cleaners. But in comparison to the stainless steel filters used in the HVAC industry, these store-bought ones are wimpy and weak and are generally made with thin fabric or paper layers.
Store-bought filters are plenty effective in small spaces, like your house or office, but they do not perform adequately in rooms that must be absolutely sterile and free from contaminants of any kind.
Stainless steel air filters don’t harbor bacteria, so they’re ideal for use in critical environments, like hospitals, and clean rooms, like operating theaters. In fact, stainless steel filters are some of the most in-demand elements of an air distribution system.
Is all stainless steel created equally?
Stainless steel HVAC products tend to be made from one of two types of stainless: Type 304 and Type 316.
Type 316 stainless steel is an austenitic chromium-nickel stainless that is heat and corrosion resistant, even when exposed to compounds that generally cause it. It contains two percent molybdenum to avoid metallic contamination and is easy to use during welding and fabrication processes.
Type 304 stainless is a versatile austenitic stainless steel made of 8 percent nickel austenitic alloy and 18 percent chromium. It’s a popular metal used in other industries, too, including kitchen equipment, automotive, and storage tanks. Even Type 304 is resistant to acidic and caustic solutions, so it is ideal for critical environments, too.
Note that some HVAC products, even for critical environments, are made of aluminum, but it is less common to find this material in place of the more reliable steel.
How are stainless steel HVAC components made?
It takes a knowledgeable fabricator, careful hand, and high-tech m manufacturing equipment to create HVAC materials that are durable and perform well.
After a builder or architect orders their HVAC components, shop fabricators begin to fulfill it by laser-cutting sheets of stainless steel using a flat-bed laser cutter. The metal pieces are then bent into shape, either by hand or using more high-tech equipment called CNC press brakes, which relies on a computer to provide exacting instructions.
Once shaped, the stainless steel pieces are welded into place, with the goal of each seam becoming air-tight to keep the air sterile. After welding, each grille fin or fan blade is cut to size and shaped to create a consistent look and smooth air distribution.
Next, all parts are cleaned in an alkalized wash cycle before undergoing a heated deionized rinse and a fresh-water rinse. Afterward, a finish or polish is applied.
Just because the fabrication process is complete doesn’t mean the parts are ready. Every piece undergoes careful leak testing with a photometer to ensure they’re capable of performing to expectations in critical environments. If they are, they’re packed and shipped to the job site, where professionals assemble and install the systems.
How do I place an order?
Construction companies or architects whose projects require the use of critical environment HVAC components should request proposals and estimates from multiple fabricators before the project kicks off.
The submittals from each manufacturer will help you determine which company to hire to produce your equipment based on their skillset, proposed timelines, product quality, and past projects.
When you select your fabricator and place your order, anticipate receiving components that are absolutely perfect and consistent in size and shape. When it comes to stainless steel air distribution products, there’s no room for error.