Robotic tool helps contractor clean spiral duct
HVAC construction contractor Cool Zone Inc. knew cleaning and sealing the ductwork the ductwork of a 27,000-square-foot facility in south Florida wouldn’t be simple.
The building’s dual-wall spiral duct was painted purple, leaking and exposed to the interior as part of the building’s design. Cool Zone faced a problem: no sealant could be applied to the outside of the ductwork, and no access holes could be cut to clean or apply sealant to the interior, as either would mar the building’s appearance. These factors meant the ductwork had to be sealed from the inside.
Cool Zone decided to use Carlisle HVAC Products’ ISAAC robotic system. ISAAC, which stands for the “Inspecting, Sealing and Advanced Cleaning” robot, was created specifically for the inspection and repair of HVAC construction ductwork. It can reach and clean tight areas that would otherwise require costly renovations, Carlisle officials say. ISAAC includes a digital video recorder to access the interior of duct.
It can inspect, coat and seal all types of ductwork with minimal disruption to building occupants. That’s what Cool Zone officials said attracted them to the technology.
“If we didn’t have ISAAC, we would have had to crawl inside the ducts to do the work,” said Chris Wilson, a commercial indoor air quality manager for Cool Zone.
After Cool Zone used ISAAC to clean the spiral duct — officials say it can remove dirt and debris in a single pass — ISAAC was then utilized to apply Carlisle HVAC Products’ RS-100 water-based duct sealant. RS-100 is a spray-applied HVAC market duct sealant that is specially engineered to seal joints and seams from inside the ductwork. RS-100 meets and exceeds all Sheet Metal and Air-Conditioning Contractors’ National Association pressure classes, while providing a SMACNA Class A seal, the manufacturer says. Its flexibility allows for HVAC construction system vibration without cracking.
“The way the RS-100 product adhered to the internal side of the spiral was very good, even though its surface was slightly lubricated,” Wilson said.
The ductwork was leaking at the joints, fittings and couplings. But with the help of ISSAC, Cool Zone finished the project in two weeks.
“The project was relatively easy, especially using ISAAC,” Wilson said.
The work immediately benefitted the facility, officials said.
Leak-prone ducts make a building’s HVAC system work much harder, contributing to higher energy bills and an increased carbon footprint. In addition, improperly sealed ductwork may circulate and deposit dirt- and dust-filled air throughout a facility, causing problems for those who suffer from allergies and asthma. The strategic use of the RS-100 sealant results in a smooth, tack-free surface that will not promote the collection of that could be a food source for bacterial growth.
Thanks to an experienced HVAC market contractor equipped with the right products, a potentially difficult and costly job was performed quickly and efficiently. The company expects the building’s air-distribution system will operate at peak efficiency for years to come.