5 Common Problems and Solutions with Industrial Ductwork

Collections systems can run into all sorts of problems … everything from the type of material, to noise, or even the specifications. Fortunately for property managers, HVAC engineers, and maintenance technicians, there are a wide variety of solutions for the various issues that may arise in your collection system ducting.

Clamp Together Ducting Elbows Are A Problem

One of the biggest problem areas with ducting systems is the elbow. Duct elbows are used to make turns in flexible, clamp-together ducting. When abrasive materials are present in the ducting, the elbows can wear out quickly. This abrasive wear often results in system shut downs for corrective maintenance. One potential solution abrasive wear is the flat back elbow.

Flat Back Elbows Are Better

While abrasive materials can bore through standard elbows, a flat back elbow has a longer radius and a heavy-duty removable back plate. This means the flat back elbows last longer AND the removable back plate allows for faster maintenance if the material ever wears through.

Vibration Dampers

If flow rate or materials are causing unwanted vibration, consider using a vibration damper. One of the other big issues comes from vibration in the ducting that created by the flow rate or material.

Vibration dampers have standard connection ends with a heavy rubber material connection in between. This allows you to isolate the vibration to one section at the rubber joint, thereby preventing continued vibration further in the system.


Silencers can reduce unwanted noise by as much as 10-15% and are a great solution when dealing with noise issues from the fan or airflow. Silencers are perforated lengths of pipe enclosed by 4 inches of insulation. The resonation within the ducting is absorbed within the thick insulation, which reduces the sound by 10-15%.

Oil Mist Caulks and Leak-free Gaskets

Another potential challenge is created when you have a wet collection system with oil mist. These systems can encounter problems from leaking at the joints to having to purchase the oil to help catch the particulate.

Fortunately, there are at least two solutions to these challenges. The first is an oil mist caulk on the ducting to ensure closure of the seams. The second is a “leak-free gasket” that ensures a tighter seal with clamp-together joints.

Oil Mist Accumulators

As for the oil itself, oil mist accumulators can help in several ways. The oil mist accumulator is a large-diameter enclosure that slows the particulate/oil mixture and uses a triple-layered mesh to knock the oil mist from the airflow. This action helps to minimize the amount of oil flowing through the system which, in turn, leads to fewer leaks from the settling of the oil in the ducting. This solution also includes an NPT (National Pipe Thread) connection at its base, allowing for the capture and possible repurposing of the oil in your systems.

These are just a few of the many solutions to common ducting challenges. If you encounter an issue with your system, please click here or call our KB Duct solutions team toll-free at 866-KNB-DUCT (866-562-3828) and let us determine if we have, or can develop, a solution for your circumstances. We are always happy to help.