Benefits of stainless steel air ducts

Stainless steel is an increasingly popular material for a wide range of uses including air ducts. This is due to its versatility and other useful properties it has for that environment. In this guide, we’ll be looking at the benefits of stainless steel fabrication in air ducts. As well as their importance in specific applications that require high performance and other key features. 


Why stainless steel for air ducts?

Stainless steel isn’t the only metal that can be used for air ducts, but it is certainly the most popular. Ducting is often installed for odour extraction, fume extraction, and dust extraction. This can be in very hot and humid environments and in order to successfully transport the air out of the system. The metal being used needs to be able to withstand heat and resist corrosion for a long period of time. 

This type of steel ticks these boxes which is why it is so popular. In addition, it tends to be the go-to metal for areas that are rich in air compounds. That could be damaging to traditional metal options like galvanised steel. With its ability to effectively perform in hazardous spaces where corrosion is extremely likely. Stainless steel has become the top choice for engineers creating air duct systems. 


What are the benefits of stainless steel air ducts?

Long term cost effectiveness

Even though stainless steel can come at a slightly higher price in comparison to the likes of galvanised steel and aluminium. It will pay for itself over and over in the long term. This is because of its durability and quality to work in challenging environments both indoors and outdoors. 

You will find with stainless steel that it gets rid of the need for replacements and expensive maintenance and repairs over the years. It will save you time and money in the long run to spend a bit more at the start on stainless steel fabrication work for your ducting system. 

Easy fabrication process

Another factor that makes stainless steel the ideal material for air ducts is it’s easy to fabricate to the requirements of ducting systems. By comparison, aluminium is quite malleable which makes it challenging to manufacture and install. Even with the specific welding techniques it requires. Not only that, but the end cost for aluminium air ducts will also be higher than stainless steel once you have factored in the extra time and work involved. 

Keeping its strength in extreme temperatures

One reason why stainless steel works so well for air ducts and can last a long time is because of its strength in extreme temperatures. It won’t change shape or deteriorate in any way when faced with especially high or low temperatures. Which is relevant to many key sectors that operate in this way. 

Impressive corrosion resistance

We mentioned it briefly above, but the benefit of stainless steel’s corrosion resistance cannot be understated. If you consider the applications air ducts are often used for, like in the food industry or pharmaceuticals. It involves a lot of contact with damaging substances such as salt which would be incredibly destructive to many metals. Stainless steel is more than capable of maintaining its quality against not just corrosion. But also, the abrasive texture of the substances that need to be ventilated and doing so in large volumes of air. 

Environmentally friendly

As many industries strive to reduce their carbon footprint and become more eco-friendly, stainless steel air ducts play a key role in achieving this. It is fully recyclable so when the ducts can no longer be used, they won’t take up space in landfills. And they can make a big difference in trying to reduce energy consumption. Also, ductwork made from stainless steel won’t develop any condensation or moisture from the air passing through it. This means there won’t be an opportunity for mould to grow and so provides the perfect solution for industries using duct systems for air conditioning where moisture is drawn out of the air. 


What are the main applications for stainless steel air ducts?

There are many industries and businesses that utilise stainless steel ductwork including: 

  • Food/beverage processing 
  • Nuclear industry 
  • Waste and energy from waste 
  • Chemical processing/pharmaceutical industry 
  • Waste water equipment 
  • Anaerobic digestion 



Hopefully, this guide has given you a better understanding of the important role stainless steel plays in air duct fabrication. Of course, there will be instances where other materials might be preferable or more suitable for example in smaller scale commercial businesses. However, if you work in a large-scale facility and need extensive ducting for hostile spaces, stainless steel is likely to be the best option for you. 

The team at FEM are specialists in high quality steel fabrication in Sheffield – so no matter the needs of your project we can work to you and supply fabricated metal that meets your exact requirements. Contact us today to discuss your needs and find out how our metal fabrication services can benefit you. 

What is the role of steel fabrication in the rail industry?

The rail industry has a lot of specific parts that perform certain functions and roles in order for the process has a whole to run smoothly. This means specially fabricated metal is needed to meet the precise requirements of the industry and to help workers complete their jobs effectively. Steel is often the metal of choice because railway fabrication demands a robust material that can withstand a significant amount of weight and other external factors without deteriorating. In this guide we’ll be looking at where steel fabrication fits into the industry as well as some projects that FEM have worked on for clients working in the sector. 

How is steel fabrication used in the rail industry? 

When you picture fabrication for the rail industry you’d immediately think about the big things like the tracks. Even though that is a part of the steel fabrication needs for this industry it’s not the only role it has. There are the railcars themselves, bogie manufacturing, gate and railing fabrication, railroad bolts, fasteners, and spikes that hold everything together. 

A lot goes into creating parts for the rail industry, it plays such a vital role that it can even be described as the backbone. If rail businesses didn’t have custom metal fabrication parts, they wouldn’t be able to fulfil their role of providing safe and efficient transport to commuters and travellers across the country. 

What work has FEM done for the rail industry? 

As experienced fabrication engineers, the team at FEM has worked on a wide range of bespoke projects for the railway industry. You can find our full range of work on our case studies page but below we will be looking at a few examples. 


A client in the rail and transportation industry approached FEM because they needed a large structure that could clean trains as they passed through. Our fabricators used stainless steel and galvanised steel to create the trainwash. Galvanisation adds extra corrosion and rust resistance to the metal, which is key for structures like this that will be in regular contact with water. It’s a service we are happy to provide if customers request it. Like all our projects this work was fabricated to BSEN1090 standards and our ISO 9001 management system.

Parts for the rail industry 

In recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of trains in operation in the UK, which means a greater demand for regular complex fabrication. Not only are we railcar manufacturers, but we also have experience with creating a range of parts for the industry. One example is a large transfer car for carrying train carriages. Tolerancing was a vital part of this project as every part had to be perfect in order for it to securely fix to the underside of the train. Not matter how big or small the work is, tolerancing is specified in customer drawings and is always completed accurately by our skilled engineers. 

Train turntables 

Turntables are a key part of the rail industry and at FEM, we have rolled, fabricated, and welded 4, 3.4 metre diameter turntables for the UK rail industry. As always, the work was carried out to ISO 9001 quality standards and a detailed inspection was done to ensure the finished products worked smoothly and effectively, before they were delivered to the client. 


The relationship between metal fabrication and the rail industry is an extremely close and important one and one that will continue long into the future. If you operate in the rail sector and require specific, custom steel fabrication, FEM can help. As you can see from the above examples our team are very familiar with the rail industry and have worked on a number of projects in that area before. Contact us today to discuss your fabrication needs and see how our services can benefit you.