The Vent Newsletter
Issue #9 May 2019
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        The Busy Season Stretch

It’s almost here.  We know what’s coming.  Those of us working in the boiler industry are all too familiar with the volume of work that is looming and will arrive in only a few weeks.  July through November is commonly referred to as the Busy Season.  This is a nearly five-month period when thousands of boilers across North America will be installed and vented.  Our factories started preparing for this year’s season long ago, and we believe that this year’s will be more active than previous seasons.
To help ensure that our business partners, like you, have the best Busy Season possible, we have implemented several programs designed to help you better compete in the open market. We are already seeing positive results from these efforts! If you would like to know more, please reach out to myself or your regional representative.

In this month’s newsletter, we examine a topic that many in the venting industry dare to question - AL29-4C. The use of AL29-4C is specified by engineers across North America and is considered the right choice for most commercial and industrial venting applications.  However, the question is; are the results truly that different from other stainless-steel materials?  Is the mystique surrounding AL29-4C resulting from fantastic marketing by its manufacturer ATI?  Should we even consider other materials based on how well it has performed for the venting industry for decades?  I think you’ll be surprised by what you’ll learn when we let you peek behind the curtain.

As always, please let us know how we can help make you and your customers as successful as possible.  We want to be involved to support you and your projects from beginning to end.

Scott Smith headshot
Scott K. Smith
Vice President – Commercial Sales
AL29-4C: Is it Really the Better Option?
Why is AL29-4C so heavily embraced by the venting industry when it comes to material grade stainless steel? Why does 316L seem to be the second choice, when in fact it meets the same UL standards and deserves equal consideration? In the mid to late 1990s, the venting industry developed High Temperature Plastic (HTP) venting systems listed to UL1738 & ULC-S636 that could withstand temperatures up to the 400F range. Furnace and boiler manufacturers embraced the idea and approved these venting systems for their new fan assist furnaces because of flexibility surrounding the installation. However, after a few years of use, problems began occurring in the system. Silicone (used for securing and sealing joints) started failing and joints were losing seal, causing condensation or complete joint separation resulting in large point-of-connection leaks. Eventually, research conducted by Battelle Labs, among others, revealed that the first-generation resin being used was overly susceptible to environmental stress, cracking, and aging. The research identified a second-generation resin as a way to compensate. However, that silicone sealant didn’t hold up well when in contact with acidic condensate. Battelle was then able to identify AL29-4C as a candidate for metallic system material that could withstand the effects of these highly acidic condensates. Boiler OEMs who had more severe issues with higher vent pressures and corrosive condensate embraced the AL29-4C system which became the impetus for the industry moving toward the special gas vent market. What seems to be a little-known fact is that 316L is actually an equal substitute for AL29-4C as it is listed to the same standards and holds up just as well in corrosive environments. 316L can also be sourced from multiple suppliers while AL29-4C has only one. In terms of price, 316L is less expensive per pound, which provides the customer upfront savings. It is easy to understand why the industry has so heavily embraced Al29-4C, however, 316L is a great option as well and holds its own when it comes to the special gas venting market.
Right Product, Lowest Cost.
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Supermarkets in Paradise

The Caribbean may be known for destination weddings, but destination supermarkets? While grocery shopping may not top the list of things to do in the Cayman Islands, a new Foster's Food Fair IGA on Grand Cayman Island will give patrons reason to linger. The massive 60,000 square foot market will feature a coffee and juice bar, in-store dining and a plethora of prepared food options. Ideally located in Camana Bay, an area touted as a new urbanist mixed-use community, the market is yet another example of the trend toward experiential grocery shopping, where patrons not only come to shop, but to dine and socialize as well. The Foster’s IGA has no fewer than eleven kitchen exhaust hoods, all of which are connected to DuraStack® Pro Factory Built Grease Duct.

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