News & Events

SMACNA introduces First Phenolic Duct Construction Standard

Posted on 06 17 2015      Retrieved from

The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association's (SMACNA) first edition of the “Phenolic Duct Construction Standard” provides basic phenolic duct fabrication and installation standards that sheet metal contractors, code officials and design engineers will find useful. It is a new American National Standard.

This new 144-page standard for phenolic air distribution system material provides for the basic fabrication and installation methods. It applies to ducts up to 80” x 80” that operate to 4” wg positive or 3” negative pressure class.

The new publication includes model project specifications, duct performance characteristics, specifications and closures, fittings and connections, reinforcement, hangers and support, accessories, and an inspection checklist.

Phenolic foam insulation is a versatile material with high thermal performance, moisture resistance, fire performance and structural strength. Phenolic panels used for air-distribution ductwork leverage these features by manufacturing the insulation into rigid panels with aluminum facings on both sides of the panel.

Rosemont to Host 2015 Annual RSES Conference

Posted on 06 17 2015      Retrieved from

The 78th Annual RSES Conference and HVACR Technology Expo will be held on Sept. 30–Oct. 3, 2015 at the Embassy Suites Chicago–O’Hare/Rosemont in Rosemont, Ill. The 2015 conference will focus on education as well as many industry-related topics.

The 2015 RSES conference will deliver a total learning experience for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration contractors; service technicians; operations/maintenance managers, engineers and technicians; engineers; sales staff; instructors; and students. Leading HVACR manufacturers and other industry professionals will conduct many educational sessions where attendees can gain valuable industry knowledge, enhance their HVACR skills and discover new technologies.

In addition, daily educational programs will be available to members, nonmembers and students who are looking to attend a particular day of sessions rather than the entire conference.

The following programs and events are tentatively scheduled. The kickoff event of the conference will be Battle of the Regions, which will be held Sept. 30.

The Awards Luncheon will be held Oct. 2, during which the following awards will be presented: Paul B. Reed Awards; Emil T. Zollo, CM, Memorial Award; John Spence Award; Imperial Awards; To Make Life Worthwhile Awards; Newsletter Contest Awards; Rising Star Award; V.V. Solomon Educator/Teacher of the Year Award; Walter B. Stopera, CM, Speaker of the Year Award; RSES Distinguished Service Member of the Year Award; Wayburn Wilson, CMS, Memorial Award(s); Vocational Instructor/School Award; David M. Lawson “Service of Excellence” Memorial Award; W.R. Barranger, CM, Manufacturers’ Service Advisory Council Member of the Year Award; and the Refrigeration Contractor of the Year Award.

As part of the conference, the RSES HVACR Technology Expo will take place on Oct. 1. The trade show event will feature the latest HVACR equipment, tools and services, with manufacturer representatives on hand to answer questions and explain their products’ features.

In addition, there will be special festivities including: the RSES Appreciation Reception on Sept. 30; MSAC Ask the Experts session on Oct. 1; the RSES Annual Business Meeting and RSES Auxiliary Business Meeting on Oct. 2; the Closing Dinner on Oct. 3; exciting auxiliary programs to be announced; and preconference training, activities and tour(s) that will be available on Sept. 28–30.

Testing opportunities for RSES Specialized Member, RSES Certificate Member, RSES Certificate Member Specialist, Environmental Protection Agency Refrigerant Usage certification, Universal R-410A certification and North American Technician Excellence certification will be tentatively offered on Oct. 1 and 3.

RSES is the world's leading education, training and certification association for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration professionals. RSES credentials include its Active Specialized Member, Certificate Member and Certificate Member Specialist categories, as well as one of the largest EPA Section 608 certification programs in the industry. Founded in 1933, RSES is a non-profit organization of members in chapters in the U.S. and Canada, as well as affiliate organizations worldwide. For more information on RSES call 800-297-5660 or 847-297-6464, or visit our website at RSES, 1911 Rohlwing Road, Suite A, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008-1397.

Manufacturing Steps Up as Industry Transitions to Low-GWP Refrigerants

Posted on 06 17 2015      Retrieved from

Versatile equipment for producing a wide range of heat exchanger coils from various MicroGroove smaller diameter copper tubes is available now. High-volume production of MicroGroove coils for residential air-conditioners has been an accomplished fact for more than five years and the successful production of coils for refrigeration systems and commercial applications is ever broadening.

For any manufacturer, a major attraction of MicroGroove is the versatility of the production lines. Equipment today is capable of short runs of specialty products as well as high-volume production. Either can be accomplished with speed and precision. Coils for commercial applications typically are not produced in high volumes, so fast-yet-flexible production is paramount.

Round copper tubes laced through optimized plate fins are the basis for highly efficient evaporators, condensers and gas coolers for countless applications in refrigeration and air conditioning. The ease with which such conventional coils can be made has made them attractive for use for many decades in the past.

The use of smaller-diameter tubes with inner grooves allows for even more efficient coils. Once the tubes became available from ICA member companies, the supply chain developed equipment and processes that could handle the smaller diameter tubes. The type of equipment remains basically the same. Tube benders, lacers and tube expanders are still at the heart of such production but these steps had to be adapted to smaller tube diameters. Equipment makers responded quickly and admirably so that today a manufacturer can purchase and/or build the equipment necessary to establish a reliable and versatile production line for the manufacturer of coils from smaller diameter copper tubes.

Results of Audience Poll

During a recent MicroGroove webinar, members of the audience were polled about their greatest concern with moving to smaller-diameter coil production. Their two biggest concerns were centered around “technology/innovation in this area” and “manufacturing process changes.”

“The audience responses suggest that many manufacturers are on the brink of transitioning from conventional copper tubes to MicroGroove,” says Nigel Cotton, MicroGroove Team Leader for the International Copper Association. “The early adopters are already in production and demand is increasing. Current equipment is proven in production environments and is ready for adoption by the mainstream industry.”

Refrigerant Friendly Coils

Heat exchangers made with copper tubes are highly compatible with most of the eco-friendly refrigerants under consideration for refrigeration systems, air conditioners and heat pumps globally.

In both laboratory and manufacturing environments, smaller-diameter copper tubes are proving to be a good match for eco-friendly refrigerants. Candidate refrigerants include Low Global Warming Potential (GWP) hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) such as HFC-32, which has a GWP of 675; and ultra-low GWP hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs), such as HFO-1234yf and HFO-1234-ze, which have GWPs of 4 and 6, respectively.

Scores of refrigerants that are blends of HFCs are HFOs are also under consideration for various applications. Such refrigerant blends can be tailored to the application by making tradeoffs between performance, cost, GWP and flammability.

Traditional copper tubes with plate-fins are well suited for these new blends of eco-friendly refrigerants. The use of smaller-diameter tubes further reduces the effective GWP in applications since less refrigerant charge delivers the same capacity. Copper also excels when used in heat exchangers for natural refrigerants, including hydrocarbons (e.g., propane, R290) as well as carbon dioxide (R744).

According to the laws of mechanics, the “hoop stress” exerted on a tube decreases with diameter (when pressure and wall thickness are held constant). Consequently, higher pressures can be applied without increasing the wall thickness; or lower wall thicknesses can be used. When a manufacturer uses a smaller-diameter copper tube, he can save on materials and increase performance in more ways than one.

Manufacturing Infrastructure

Fortunately, the development of smaller-diameter copper tubes and the manufacturing technology for the production of MicroGroove heat exchanger coils coincides with the regulatory need. MicroGroove technology has been steadily advancing for more than a decade now. The manufacturing infrastructure for supplying evaporators, condensers and gas coolers to the industry has already developed to the point where it is available for use. “For OEMs who want to use smaller diameter copper tubes, the equipment is available,” says Cotton. “That is true for nearly all of the Low-GWP and ultra-low GWP refrigerants and refrigerant blends.”

According to experts at Burr OAK Tool, the equipment to build small diameter tubes into all sizes of coils is already available, and manufacturing processes are familiar, economical and reliable.

The Copper Alliance recently provided a webinar presented by Brian McConnell, President of BOTI, in which the manufacturing technology to produce heat exchanger coils from MicroGroove Copper Tubes was described.