From Rectangular To Round: Replacing Ductwork Will Improve System Performance


Contributed by Peter Martinez, President, Master Fire Prevention Systems

ductworkThe prefabricated stainless steel grease duct design solutions from Master Fire Prevention are increasingly becoming the exhaust ventilation system of choice in the foodservice and restaurant industry. It is important to find the right stainless steel ductwork products to provide your commercial kitchen customers with a grease duct system that is less complicated to install, and reusable.

There are many reasons for taking this modern, design build approach. For one, stainless ductwork is just as good as galvanized and/or aluminum, and it resists corrosives. Stainless steel is perfect for applications such as commercial cooking because stainless steel materials also resists the harsh seasonal elements, and it is highly durable. Seamless stainless steel ductwork also eliminates the areas crevices inherent in other duct work systems. While rectangular systems are also highly effective, it is possible that leaks can occur if the welds aren’t tight enough. This variable is attributable to the company you hire to design, build and install a rectangular system – and Master Fire Prevention only in New York, at this time.

Another thing to consider is that prefabricated systems are adaptable to other existing ductwork products. They are modular, which is one of the great features of round, or cylindrical pre-fabricated systems. This means you can offer your customers a variety of ways to improve or enhance their currently installed ductwork without it costing a large sum to reinstall a whole new system. The cylindrical design offers superior strength, and can withstand much higher temperatures compared to rectangular carbon steel fabricated systems. Another advantage is that a modular or prefabricated system can be deployed as part of a fully integrated scheme, designed and pre-engineered for optimum performance with your existing kitchen ventilation equipment.

No two restaurant kitchens are the same, and every commercial cooking environment is distinct. Part of your decision to migrate to a modular system should be cleaning and maintenance. To that end, consider that, since there are no corners, the system is easier to clean, as there is far less grease buildup due to the decreased surface area. Kitchen staff will also appreciate the reduced static pressure and improved acoustics.

Furthermore, energy efficiency and overall performance are greatly improved with round grease duct designs as there is less flow resistance. Stainless steel HVAC ducting also comes prefabricated in a variety of sizes and thicknesses. But again, stainless steel maintains its integrity at much higher temperatures than traditional carbon steel systems. In fact, cylindrical duct systems are far superior structurally compared to rectangular ducts.

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Whether for new restaurant construction, or retrofitting future expansions or making modifications to existing commercial kitchens, prefabricated designs help reduce floor space requirements and additional time and costs associated with constructing an on-site fire chase. Architects and planners will have maximum design flexibility with prefabricated stainless steel grease duct systems.

Stainless steel’s extreme durability and longevity are among its cost saving benefits: it resists corrosion from harsh substances, such as salts used in food processing. From the penetration seals to the access doors, the integrity of the system limits leakage across the cross-sectional area. The test pressure specifications surpass even the most stringent standards as required by federal and state codes.

Stainless steel ducting is also necessary where air passes through usually at extreme temperatures. This is particularly dangerous when taking into consideration the hazardous nature of the air being ventilated. Stainless steel has the added protection of being abrasion resistant. Its rigidity makes it an excellent choice for moving high volumes of air.

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of cylindrical design is that your restaurant’s food will actually smell and taste better since there are no corners for food particulates to accumulate. Keeping your prefabricated grease duct, and its components clean is also made easier.

As you can see there are many advantages to installing a prefabricated stainless steel grease duct system by Master Fire Prevention. Perhaps the chief advantage is cost and impact on a restaurant’s bottom line. Since performance and energy efficiency are greatly improved with round grease duct designs (due to less flow resistance), the monthly operating costs come down. Additionally, cylindrical systems are much easier to clean so maintenance costs likewise come down.

In sum, the modular concept of factory-built grease duct is sweeping the food services industry for several good reasons including but not limited to design flexibility, ease of installation, better flow characteristics, superior safety, high temperature resistance, increased structural integrity at higher temperatures, and of course, time and cost savings.

  • (Rectangular) Reduced static pressure
  • Improved acoustics
  • No corners for excessive grease buildup
  • Easier to clean
  • Faster and cheaper installation
  • Factory dye-tested to prevent leaks
  • Less surface area
  • Requires less insulation when fire wrapped
  • ETL Listed to UL Standard 1978 – Grease Ducts and CAN/ULC-S662
  • Diameters range from 8” to 24”
  • Duct and accessories are made from stainless steel
  • Multiple accessories including 45 degree elbow, 90 and Tees
  • Access doors available for clean out
  • Transition plates available for duct termination at the curb
  • Submittals and duct CAD files
  • System can be used as a stand-alone duct system and integrated into a kitchen application
  • System can be used as part of a fully integrated with kitchen ventilation equipment
  • Factory-built duct saves on installation costs

Call Master Fire Prevention today at (718) 828-6424 and ask for a complimentary design build consultation, and find out how much easier running your commercial kitchen can be – with a prefabricated, cylindrical, stainless steel grease duct system by Master Fire.