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How Do I Choose the Right Process Piping Contractors for My Current Project?

For all processing facilities, being able to get product, byproducts, or feedstock from one point to another in a timely and reliable fashion is critical. As such, choosing the right process piping contractors is vital for ensuring business continuity and optimum levels of both safety and productivity. To find the best professionals for your project, there are a number of key factors that you’ll have to consider. From the overall capabilities of different companies to their understanding of top-rated materials and custom design, you’ll need to find professionals who prioritize quality, compliance, and safety above all else. The best contractors to look for will have solid reputations, a strong knowledge of the related materials, and proven expertise.

A good company should be able to provide single-source design, pipe fabrication, and process piping installation without having to rely on outside contractors to help out. This will improve quality control by limiting the number of providers within the supply chain. Many companies throughout this industry are only able to handle these projects in part while outsourcing multiple aspects of the work to several different entities.

The Ability To Work With Multiple Materials While Ensuring Safety Compliance

You’ll also want your provider to have a strong knowledge of the different materials that can be used in processed piping applications. These include:

  • Galvanized steel
  • Processed steel
  • 304 stainless steel
  • 316 stainless steel
  • Ductile iron
  • Inconels
  • Food grade piping
  • Copper
  • PVC

A good company will be able to create and install custom piping solutions with any one of these materials, as needed for your industry. Look for contractors that have handled multiple project types in the past, and across multiple industries. This will ensure that your provider is able to accommodate the temperature conditions, flow rates, and fluctuating pressures that are common to your operations. Whether you need to transport water, oil, gas, steam, compressed air, or other elements, seasoned professionals will be able to supply a streamlined and needs-specific solution.

Perhaps the most critical factor to consider when hiring this project out is safety compliance. You certainly don’t want to outsource this work to any contractor that has a history of catastrophic safety accidents. To prevent issues on your job site, look for reputable entities that have proven track records for ensuring total compliance with all federal, state, and other local safety standards.

Finally, make sure that your process piping service is a leader in the provision of custom and standard piping solutions. By hiring a well-established contractor with a stellar reputation, you can get the piping systems you need, on time, at cost, and with minimal hassle. Ready to get started? Call us today at 408-295-2182.

Does Sheet Metal for Ductwork Differ from Other Sheet Metal?

Manufacturers construct sheet metal out of a few different types of material. Galvanized is the most common one we hear of because it’s used in the forming of HVAC ductwork systems. You’ll also hear of iron, stainless steel, or laminated steel. These metals are more typical with parts created for the automotive and manufacturing industries.

Besides ductwork, we use sheet metal in various:

  • Machining parts
  • Body panels on vehicles
  • Toolboxes
  • Transformers

You can find pieces created from sheet metal in airplanes, military vehicles, railroad cars, holding tanks, and even in electrical components. Sheet metal is found in just about any industry.

Differences between Galvanized sheet metal and other metals

Galvanized metal is dipped in a coating of a specially formulated zinc mixture to help protect the steel from corrosion. Ductwork pipes and fittings are exposed to some moisture, so care must be taken to ensure rust doesn’t occur within the HVAC system. If it did, the duct pieces would fail as air would be allowed to escape, causing the heating/cooling appliance to work harder than necessary to reach the desired air temp in the home. This would cause the unit to have a shorter life span, as well as cost you more money on your energy bills.

Other materials, like stainless steel, can also be corrosive-free, but it’s not feasible to use them for ductwork due to the costs of production and its lack of pliability. Galvanized metal is more cost-efficient and its material works perfect for forming into specially designed elbows bent to certain measurements of degrees. It can also manufacture it to the right gauge for a ductwork application, which is why galvanized metal is the number one choice for HVAC systems.

Forming galvanized sheet metal into ductwork pipes and fittings takes a certain skill and knowledge for the correct shapes. Proper measurements are necessary for the pieces to work efficiently. Bends need to be at the right angles, and all pieces need to fit together snugly. If anything is just a tad bit off, the duct system won’t work properly and it could cost you more money down the road. We offer high-quality ductwork pipe fabrication services to ensure you get the most efficient air vent duct system possible for your heating/cooling unit. For more information about ductwork sheet metal or to have an order of fittings filled call us at 408-295-2182.

Is There a Standard Thickness for Ductwork Sheet Metal?

Each batch of sheet metal is made to differing levels of strength, size, and thickness depending on the exact performance tests it has to pass. For universal adoption of appropriate standards to be possible, it was necessary to create a governing body to regulate and approve particular use of components based upon their qualification. The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors‘ National Association (SMACNA) is an international trade association that establishes the industry standards for acceptable construction material criteria used in HVAC. These codes declare the minimum allowable thickness for ventilation ductwork sheet metal across various sizes, shapes, and raw materials used for individual applications. Sheet metal has specific guidelines determined by use, which the product must be within after being manufactured or fabricated for:

• Commercial
• Industrial
• Residential

Gage-It Right

To save on the money and resources in an initial investment, it is common to choose the least allowable thickness that fits into the design plans while still possessing the right qualifying tolerances. The thinnest acceptable sheet metal for ductwork used in a single dwelling is 28 gage or 0.013 and 0.018 inches for galvanized and aluminum, respectively. This measurement is for around duct smaller than 12 inches in diameter and a rectangular section no bigger than 8 inches. These figures are for construction according to the most recent edition of the updated codebook published in 2018. Additionally, there are also specs for the correct galvanizing coating that is supposed to be used as well, and knowing how to get all the details right is why it is important to have a professional handle all installations.

The sheet metal that is used to create ductwork that supplies ventilation to living and working spaces has to be able to withstand the pressure created by the system in order to follow the building code. The standard thickness increases for larger dimensions of piping made from sheet metal so it can withstand the stresses of greater length and diameter without buckling under its own weight. The two most common metals used for ductwork are aluminum and galvanized steel, and the requirements for both are listed in the International Mechanical Code book. Further guidelines are also found in the SMACNA HVAC Duct Construction – Metal and Flexible book, which further clarifies best practices for a host of possible scenarios. When you’re ready to find out what we can do for you, give us a call at 408-295-2182.

How are Sheet Metal Ducts Made?

There are basically two types of ductwork. The first type, which is also the most frequently used, is rigid and often made of galvanized sheet metal. The other type is flexible and is usually constructed with plastic. This blog will take a deeper look at the former type and how exactly this ducting is constructed.

When metal ductwork is installed in a building, it is custom fitted so that it fits exactly into the dimensions in the floor, ceiling or wall. There is a number of ducting parts that are commonly built that are then assembled and modified at the build site. It is kind of like putting together a kid’s construction set. A variety of pieces are provided and then pieced together to make a functioning air flow system. The common ducting shapes include:

  • Straight round pipe
  • Straight oval pipe
  • Half sheet rectangular pipe
  • 90 degree adjustable elbow
  • X, Y and Z connector pieces

Machinery Does the Fabricating Job

Sheet metal, the raw material for rigid ducting, can be cut and shaped by hand, but this is a difficult task. Automated machines do the work of cutting, folding and grooving to create all the different components needed to assemble a new ducting network.

Rectangular metal ducts are built by putting two pieces of bent sheeting together. The flat pieces of metal are first cut to the desired size with a cutting machine or plasma cutter. Then, another machine folds the sharp edges inward. Thirdly, the sheet is shaped into an L or a tube. Most rectangular ducting is made to standard sizes, but the machines can be adjusted to create the ducting in custom sizes.

Round metal duct, also known as spiral pipes, are made with a different process. At the start of the process, the sheet metal is put into a machine that coils it. The machine fuses the edges together to make the pipe air-tight. The pipe is then passed to the next processing step where it is cut to the desired length.

The ductwork in your building is a critical component for the safe and healthy use of the facility. Give us a call today at 408-295-2182 to learn more about the ventilation services that we provide.

What Are the Different Types of Sheet Metal Duct Designs?

Sheet metal is an excellent choice for heating and cooling equipment because it enhances the performance of duct design components. Not only are sheet metal components easy to install, but they also provide energy efficiency, strength, and durability, as they can withstand high temperatures and environmental elements.

Materials Used in Sheet Metal

Galvanized Mild Steel

One of the most popular duct designs for buildings is based on galvanized mild steel with a rust-resistant zinc coating. This design is widely used because it can be easily customized and it provides sufficient protection against air loss, helping lower energy bills. The smooth quality of galvanized steel reduces the airflow compared with other duct materials. It also prevents the growth of mold and fungus.

Aluminum Duct-work

Due to its light weight and resistance to corrosion, aluminum has become a popular choice for duct-work. The material is reliable for both indoor and outdoor use in the following industries:

  • automotive
  • construction
  • printing
  • mining

Major advantages to aluminum are that it’s easy to install and can be easily bent to fit any shape.

Stainless Steel

Providing the same amount of strength as aluminum or galvanized steel, stainless steel is another effective type of sheet metal for budget-conscious building owners. It also resists corrosion and moisture, which is why it’s a top choice among food processing plants and sites with large industrialized construction. Swimming pools also work well with stainless steel applications, which add attractive aesthetics to a facility.

Custom Designs

An experienced fabrication shop has the tools and skills to create custom designs for clients with unique building layouts. Any type of duct can be designed with computer-aided design (CAD) software. The ideal duct system takes into account how much heating and cooling is needed in each room in terms of BTU per hour. You then need to determine the materials, the size of the system and select the right tools.

Like any HVAC equipment, the ducting system must be installed properly to avoid common maintenance problems. Keeping the duct clean and having it inspected by a professional every year are keys to extending its longevity.

Conclusion

Understanding the various types of sheet metal duct designs will help you determine the best solution for your needs. Make sure your design allows air distribution throughout a building while maintaining good air quality and energy efficiency. Call one of our counselors today at 408-295-2182.

Does Your Facility Have an Emergency Plan for When Systems Go Down?

Whatever your line of business is, you have a variety of systems that help keep things running smoothly: HVAC for cool air in the summer and heat in the winter, plumbing for the bathrooms, electrical systems for lighting, and perhaps even some audio systems for intercoms or music.

When all of these systems are running smoothly, you don’t generally even think about them. You flip switches, adjust temperatures, flush toilets, and go about your day. But what happens when one or more of these systems go down? What if one system has a minor failure, or what if they all have a catastrophic failure at once?

Do you have an emergency plan for that scenario? You should, because at some point, something will happen.

 

What should your emergency plan contain?

To be fully comprehensive, your emergency plan should be thorough. It should begin with what to do in the event of a minor system failure, detailing the specifics for each system. It should conclude with what to do in the event of catastrophic failure of all systems at once.

It should detail things such as:

  • Whether to send staff home or keep working
  • Who to call for repairs, including names and phone numbers
  • Steps to take to prevent further damage to the system while waiting for repairs
  • If your business has clients or customers, whether to close to the public until repairs are made

There are likely other steps that are specific to your particular company that would also need to be included.

This plan should be in writing, and there should be several copies in several different locations around the property, ensuring that all employees are able to access it and make use of it, in the event of such an emergency.

A critical part of the emergency plan is knowing who to call to get repairs made quickly. You don’t want to have to wait out the weekend, or even a single night, in an emergency.

O.C. McDonald offers emergency service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Include our number in your emergency plan, and no matter the time of day or night, our 24-hour live operator can get you set up with one of our experienced technicians to get your system back up and running as quickly as possible.

Call us today (408) 295-2182

Sheet Metal Fabrication for Ductwork of HVAC Systems in San Jose

When looking at duct-work, one does not think about all the work that goes into building them. Sheet metal fabrication is an art in itself and requires special training to make sure the ducts are solid and will carry the HVAC air through a system with no leaks.

KINDS OF AIR DUCTS

Ducts are used to provide a passage for ventilation, heating and air conditioning. When properly installed they assure quality air is delivered to the interior of any home or building. Having good, solid ducts is essential if a quality air is to be maintained. They must be able to supply air, return it and exhaust it.

Galvanized mild steel is most traditionally used in building ducts. It has a zinc coating which prevents the duct from rusting. Fabricating shop ducts can be made in various shapes to suit special situations.

These ducts are, as a rule, fabricated with duct wrap to make them quieter and eliminate the loss of hot or cold air that would occur without insulation. Some duct-work manufactured today has rigid insulation panels that do not need further lining and can be instantly fashioned and installed. This protection against air loss provides a cost-effective operation with lower utility bills.

Aluminum duct-work is popular because it is lightweight, which makes it easy to install. Sheets of aluminum used are ordinarily pre-insulated panels. After cutting to size, sections of the duct are put together with glue and aluminum tape is applied to the seams.

 

MEETING THE ENERGY STAR® STANDARD

With the high cost of electricity, naturally everyone is looking for a way to cut down their energy costs. Having good insulated duct-work that meets Energy Star® standards is a good step in that direction.

A good sheet metal fabrication shop is well aware of this standard and devotes all efforts to correctly insulate against the possibility of air loss or seam leaks. This assures energy savings as well as cost savings.

A good San Jose sheet metal fabrication shop can design residential or business HVAC custom duct-work that will fit any new or existing heating/cooling system. In addition to the duct-work, they can also custom fabricate things such as duct elbows, offsets, transitions and other parts of the HVAC system.

We’re here to help.  Call  (408) 295-2182 today!

Custom Sheet Metal Fabrication and Installation in San Jose

Sheets of metal are manufactured in different thicknesses. The thinnest pieces are aluminum foils used as kitchenware, and the thickest sheets are plates used as building structures. Coiled sheet metal is made into rolls that weigh as much as several tons.

Sheet metal is used in any application that requires thin or flexible metal. Find this type in many aesthetic and functional designs for cars and buildings. Some flatware is made using copper or stainless steel sheets, and electric generators include the use of sheets.

The Benefits of Custom Specifications

Choose custom sheet metal for the convenience of buying what you need and want. Decide the type of material you want, whether it’s aluminum, stainless steel or brass. A custom provider lets you choose the number of sheets along with the lengths, thicknesses and weights.

Customizing products helps you to save money and effort. Pay for the exact amounts you need without having to discard wasted materials. Commercial remodelers need custom specifications to design the ideal office building. Both individuals and businesses need metal for everyday uses, but they are also looking to save money.

Custom Services

Know the full range of custom sheet metal fabrication options available. Basic fabrication services are performed using common techniques like shearing and hot or cold rolling. Some companies provide additional services to manufacturer clients, such as product assembly, welding, hardware installation and electromechanical assembly.

Decide if you want to add finishing to sheet metal, which adds a long-lasting shine and protective coating. Examples are metal drawers and lockers that are coated with powder finish. Before buying a custom service, review the company’s samples by looking at pictures on the website or viewing the items up close.

Although it may not seem apparent, sheet metal is used to make thousands of items for business, including pipes and stairway rails. For the best results, work with a custom fabricator to plan the product design and monitor the final installation. Call O.C. McDonald to suit your professional needs in San Jose. (408) 295-2182

Guide to Finding the Right Sheet Metal Fabrication Company in San Jose

If you are a business owner or industrial manager in San Jose, you may already know how important it is to find the right sheet metal fabrication company to get the design you need. The right service provider in San Jose will offer you customized specialty sheet metal fabrication and other related services using expert knowledge and experience.

You should also choose a company that can handle jobs of all sizes and specializes in providing complete design systems for facilities such as office buildings, hospitals, retail stores, and other industries. A reputable sheet metal fabrication company should also be able to handle all types of fabrication to include:

– Galvanized steel sheets

– Stainless steel

– Aluminum

– HVAC sheets

– Copper

Features You Should Look For

When choosing the right company in San Jose, here are some of the features you should look for deciding which service provider to trust:

Trained and Experienced Staff – Using the right people for the right job is necessary for meeting production targets and deadlines. You should choose a company that has a staff that is experienced and well-trained in metal fabrication work. You can identify these people because they have been in the trade for several years and have worked in many different positions as shop workers, installers, shop foremen, and managers.

State-of-the-Art Technology – Resources are used effectively when state-of-the-art technology is implemented. This helps optimize the use of all materials and reduces waste. Using the latest techniques and computerized equipment, you will get a better quality fabrication of sheet metal. In addition, more accuracy will be achieved and it will take less time to complete the job.

Cost Effective – The right sheet metal fabrication company will have an in-house facility where all manufacturing is done. This way, costs are reduced when completing jobs and the savings are passed on to customers.

Excellent Feedback and Ratings

When searching for the right sheet metal fabrication company, it is important to do a little research of your own which can easily be done online. Once you have narrowed down the choices of the companies you are interested in, you may want to visit their website to see if customers have left any feedback in regards to previous work done. There also various sites online which show company ratings and client feedback comments for sheet metal fabricators in San Jose. These sites will give you an idea of which companies are the highly rated and the most reputable.

Focus on Safety

You should always choose a company that emphasizes the safety of its workers, clients, as well as meets and/or exceeds compliance with state and federal safety standards. This includes identifying, preventing, and eliminating any hazardous conditions while performing work.

Make the Right Choice

Sheet metal fabrication in San Jose requires expertise, industry knowledge, the right technology, a solid reputation, and a strong emphasis on safety. Remember these important factors before you hire a company to handle an important project for you. This way, you will ensure that the job is done right the first time in a professional manner and it is the most cost-effective.

Call O.C. McDonald Today (408) 295-2182