3 Reasons Industrial Ducts, Chutes & Troughs Are Custom Jobs

The materials of industry and commerce have to move. Whether they are raw materials, building materials, agricultural materials, or industrial waste materials, they must move rapidly and consistently — not just across highways and railways and waterways, but on-site at manufacturing and processing plants, often in ways that defy imagination using extensive networks of industrial ducts, chutes, spouts, and troughs.

These are the unsung heroes of industrial material handling. And the arts and sciences of custom metal fabrication make them possible and put them there.

  1. Material Handling Systems Require Custom Components

Nearly every material in industry that must be moved dictates its own set of demands that determine the kinds of metal constructions needed. Even the simplest gravity chute must be designed and built with the right metal thickness since too thin a sheet will compromise integrity, while too thick a sheet will add unnecessary cost.

Every site or project has its own plot and footprint, which requires precisely measured and engineered section lengths, transitions, and interchanges, all of which must meet, seat, and seal to form a perfectly placed contiguous whole that predictably transports the material in question from Point A to Point B.

Whether square, round, or a custom shape, industrial ducts and chutes can be fabricated in a wide range of diameters and sizes. Some industrial materials, including air and exhaust, must move through a series of different-sized lengths of ducting as the material and its conveyance system interface with fans, baghouses, and in-line dust collectors.

Industrial ducts, chutes, and spouts can be fabricated to operate at almost any angle, from vertical to horizontal. They can be designed as fixed installations, whether mounted from a ceiling or supported from the floor, or even erected in traveling or pivoting configurations.

  1. Industrial Ducts Must Be Precise

All power generation facilities, and many other types of industrial or manufacturing facilities, have to handle heat and particulates as they move massive volumes of air driven by giant fans in a tightly controlled flow-through.

The heave ductwork fabrication that enables this precise conveyance must be custom engineered for operational efficiency, while also controlling and managing pollutants in accordance with EPA standards. Ensuring that every such system cleaves to EPA regulations means that industrial ducts must be custom designed to match fans and the type of boiler system — such as coal-fired, biomass, or hybrid — that the plant in question runs on.

  1. Chute and Duct Design Needs to Account for Special Materials

Some industrial ducts and chutes need special coatings, such as for fracking operations, or for handling corrosive, abrasive, or sensitive materials. Ash handling, for instance, requires components that can resist the hostile properties of the waste material. Agricultural operations, on the other hand, sometimes require pliable custom liners or coating for cushioning or protecting food products.

At Southern Metal Fabricators, we regularly fabricate metal components to exact specifications for companies that then apply their own specialty liner or coating for resale. We also work with third-party partners who develop and apply liners or coatings to chutes and ducts for us so we are able to deliver such specialty products directly to clients who need them.

Capabilities Are Key When Fabricating Custom Chute, Trough and Duct Systems

When you need custom industrial ducts, chutes, or troughs, you need a metal fabricator with a wide range of capabilities. Our huge lay-down yard and 50,000-square-foot high-bay building, combined with our extensive array of metal fabrication machines and tools, means that we are set up to take on almost any challenge of any size. We have delivered miles of custom industrial ducts, chutes, spouts, and troughs for major industrial movers and shakers such as Cleaver-Brooks, ProcessBarron, Southern Precision Sands, Hudco, and Hitachi-Zosen.

Power plant fan ductwork at Southern Metal Fabricators Power plant fan ductwork in Southern Metal Fabricators’ massive lay-down yard.

Visit our website to learn more about our capabilities in these areas, or call us directly at 1.888.421.9661 to ask how we can get your materials moving with precision custom industrial ducts, troughs, chutes, and spouts. If others have said, “We can’t do that,” we likely have a different answer. We love nothing better than to be able to say: “Yes, we can do that!”

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