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Pros & Cons of FRP vs. Coated Steel High Plume Exhaust Fans

Today’s post will be included in the Summer 2021 Flow in the Know quarterly newsletter. It is the feature of the reoccurring section, “Pick of the Quarter,” where we highlight one of our 19 manufacturers and the engineered HVAC equipment solutions we provide. In this post we’ve created a “cheat sheet” for selecting the right high plume exhaust fan for the right application.

Selecting the right high plume exhaust fan for the right application can be confusing. Luckily, M.K. Plastics has been manufacturing corrosive-resistant exhaust fans for over 50 years. They specialize in fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) but also have an extensive background in manufacturing coated steel fans. Flow Tech, Inc. has proudly represented M.K. Plastic’s exhaust systems in New England for decades.

To make your life easier, Flow Tech’s Kevin Wixom created a “cheat sheet” of the pros and cons of FRP vs. coated steel. Feel free to reach out to us if you need further information or selections!

Axijet – F – Fiberglass Fan Wheel, Fiberglass Fan Body, Fiberglass Fan Nozzle

PROS

  • More corrosion resistant as compared to coated steel
  • Up to 30% weight reduction compared to coated steel
    • High strength-to weight ratio
  • The life expectancy for FRP fans can range from 25 to 50 years
  • Optimal for high humidity, low temperature applications
  • Corrosion immune – chemical resistance remains even if the material is scratched, dented, or scuffed
  • True AMCA A spark resistance

CONS

  • May experience a cost premium to provide FRP in lieu of coated steel
  • The selections for higher CFMs/larger fans made of full FRP can be restricted or unavailable due to lower allowable tip speeds caused by the FRP wheel
  • May experience longer lead times due to the FRP needing to set properly

Axijet-FSW – Coated Steel Fan Wheel, Fiberglass Fan Body, Fiberglass Fan Nozzle

PROS

  • Weight reduction due to FRP fan body and FRP nozzle
  • Higher life expectancy as compared to all coated steel
  • Better selection for higher CFMs/larger fans due to the higher tip speed allowed by the steel wheel
  • May experience a cost savings when providing a coated steel wheel in lieu of FRP
  • Possibility of shorter lead times as compared to all FRP fans

CONS

  • Weight is added due to having a coated steel wheel in lieu of FRP
  • Corrosion resistance will not remain if the wheel coating becomes compromised
  • Only available in AMCA C or B spark resistance

Axijet-S – Coated Steel Fan Wheel, Coated Steel Fan Body, Fiberglass Fan Nozzle

PROS

  • Better selection for higher CFMs/larger fans due to the higher tip speed allowed by the steel wheel
  • Optimal for mildly corrosive environments
  • Variety of color choices
  • Coated steel fans could cost less than FRP depending on the application
  • Possibility of shorter lead times as compared to all FRP fans

CONS

  • Corrosion resistance will not remain if the coating becomes compromised
  • Up to 30% heavier as compared to FRP
  • Only available in AMCA C or B spark resistance
  • Shortest life expectancy as compared to Axijet-F and Axijet-FSW

We’d love to help you with your future fan selection needs. To learn more about how this HVAC solution can improve the comfort and efficiency of your facility, contact us or visit our website. You can always stay up-to-date on the latest Flow Tech happenings by following us on social media: FacebookLinkedInTwitter and YouTube.

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