Ventilation ducts are vital components of any building, be it a residential home or a larger commercial or industrial space. It's fair to say they are particularly important in Australia, where efficient air conditioning and ventilation is often the only thing keeping the interiors of your buildings tolerably cool. As such, choosing the right ventilation ducts for your building's needs is vital, and the materials your ducts are made from can dramatically affect how they perform.
One of the most popular and widely used materials for ventilation duct construction is galvanised steel piping, and this specialised material has a number of properties that make it ideal for such purposes.
When it comes to keeping your ventilation ducts free of leaks, obstructions and other problems which can dull their efficiency, one of the most difficult problems to deal with is rust. The water vapour present in the air that passes through your ducts can cause pipes made from unprotected steel and ferrous alloys to corrode remarkaby quickly, reducing their strength and creating leaks and cracks in the pipe walls. This is a particularly troublesome problem in ducts connected to air conditioning systems, as conditioned air tends to contain large amounts of moisture.
Choosing galvanised steel piping is one of the best ways to avoid problems with rust. The thin layer of zinc which is applied to the surfaces of galvanised steel pipes effectively protects the steel beneath from corrosion, creating a layer of rust-resistant oxide that prevents moisture from reaching the vulnerable steel. If well maintained, a galvanised steel ventilation duct can last for years or even decades, even in humid environments.
Galvanised steel isn't your only choice of material if you want to avoid problems with rust in your ventilation ducts -- however, it is almost always the cheapest. The relatively low prices of conventional steel, combined with the quick, easy and cost-effective process of galvanising them, makes galvanised steeling piping a very economical option, and large, extensive ventilation systems can be constructed on a tight budget.
Steel is one of the strongest and most durable piping materials around, far stronger than naturally rust-resistant metals such as copper or aluminium. Having your duct pipes galvanised does not undermine the durability of the steel beneath in any way, so you can rest assured that your ventilation ducts can handle almost anything you can throw at them. They are particularly useful if you intend to retain your ventilation system during interior renovations, which can badly damage more fragile ducting materials.
The longevity and durability of galvanised steel pipes means that they often outlast the buildings they are fitted to -- in these cases, the duct pipes can easily be recycled or even sold to scrap metal merchants to defray the initial costs of purchasing them.