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Industrial Fan FAQ
- Which axial industrial fan is suitable for cooling towers and air cooled heat exchangers?
- Are performance curves available? Is there a fan selection or fan sizing program?
- What are the differences between the various industrial fans available on the market?
- What are the advantages of fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) fan blades?
- Is there a big cost difference between metal and fiberglass fans?
- Is there a difference in weight between a metallic and a fiberglass fan blade?
- Is there any difference between the installation requirements of a metal and FRP blade?
- Can fiberglass or FRP fans provide any energy savings?
- What about fan noise? Can fiberglass fans provide a low noise solution?
- Can the pitch angle of a fiberglass fan blade be adjusted?
The Swifter® CTX Series Industrial Fan line is available in diameters ranging from 5 feet to 40 feet, in 4 to 16-bladed configurations and is ideally suited for cooling towers, air cooled heat exchangers, industrial radiators, chillers, condensers and evaporators.
We have easy-to-user, yet comprehensive,fan selection programs available on our website. There is no need to download software or order a CD. The online programs provide all possible fan selections for the required duty points. Our website has two fan selection programs, one for industrial axial flow fans (5' to 40' dia.) and one for industrial impellers (20" - 60" dia).
The primary differences are in material and aerodynamic blade design. Aluminum and steel were the original materails used for industrial fans. Today the use of fiberglass reinforced vinyl and epoxy resins are in greater demand because fiberglass provides longer life and can be molded into aerodynamic blade shapes providing increased airflow and efficiency.
Because metal fans are usually cut from metal sheets and bent to shape, there is a limitation in producing optimum blade profiles. On the other hand, intricate optimized computer-generated aerodynamic blade profiles can be duplicated with precision by molding fiberglass (FRP)into fan blades that maximize airflow and are more efficient in power demand and airflow output. Furthermore, industrial fiberglass fan blades generally have a longer life span as they are less affected by moisture, humidity and corrosive chemicals. Over time, metal blades may corrode and rust from moisture or chemical exposure. Fiberglass (FRP) industrial fans are considerably more durable than standard metal fans.
Metal fans may cost less for smaller diameter ranges, however for larger industrial fans the cost of metal and fiberglass fans is comparable. In most cases, regardless of size, our industrial fiberglass fans offer more value and can actually be less costly in the long run because of longer fan life, less maintenance and improved performance.
That depends on the type of metal used and the thickness of the blade material. A sheet metal fabricated blade is typically lighter than one made of cast aluminum. An industrial fiberglass blade of the same size and profile is usually heavier than a fabricated blade but lighter than a cast aluminum blade. The compression strength to weight ratio of fiberglass is excellent as compared to either fabricated or cast aluminum blades.
Generally, the larger the diameter, the greater the difference in weight between fiberglass and metallic industrial fans, i.e. fiberglass fans tend to be lighter in comparison to metallic fans for larger diameters and are therefore easier to handle and install.
It depends on the application and the existing system efficiency. In most installations where a metallic fan is being replaced by an industrial fiberglass or FRP fan, energy savings will be realized. In some instances, energy savings of up to 45% have been achieved when using our industrial fan. In most cases, depending on the actual energy savings, the capital cost of installing our industrial fiberglass fan can be recovered over a short period of time.
Industrial fiberglass fans can offer a good low noise fan solution. They have optimized blade profiles that are normally quieter in operation and generate less blade vibration than metal fans.
Generally, for industrial HVAC applications, adjustable pitch is not required. Therefore the Swifter® SW/SE Series Fans, especially designed for HVAC and general purpose industrial ventilation, are of fixed pitch design. For other applications, such as cooling towers and air cooled heat exchangers, the ability to adjust the blade pitch may be desired. For these applications, our adjustable pitch Swifter® CTX Series Fans are ideal.