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ZEN Industries eNewsletter: September 2018

U.S. Tariffs Affect Sheet Metal

Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Impact HVAC Industry

US Steel an Aluminum TariffsEffective in May of this year, the U.S. enacted trade tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum. The effect has been a changing market. Steel prices are up 60% from a market low set late last year.

U.S. steel producers have lobbied for years for government intervention, pointing out that international dumping of steel, especially by China, has decimated the American steel industry.

While the Administration initially provided temporary exemptions to Canada, Mexico, and the EU, those exemptions were revoked on June 1.

In the wake of these developments, buyers have been reluctant to place foreign orders with long lead times, uncertain of how the developing situation may shake out. With less foreign competition, domestic producers have already been able to increase prices, in some cases dramatically. Less competition also means less supply, with lead times from U.S. suppliers often doubling overnight.

Faced with increased orders, U.S. Steel has decided to restart two steel blast furnaces at its Granite City facility in Illinois. Republic Steel, Liberty Steel, and others are taking similar actions

Even so, many buyers have decided to pay the imposed duties rather than risk an interruption in supply.

What is the Botton Line for HVAC?

Supplies of sheet metal may get tight in the fourth quarter of 2018. Keep in touch with your suppliers and be aware that prices may continue to rise. The good news is that the housing and construction market is strong this year.

Residential housing is expected to grow between 6 and 9%. New commercial office space may also reach 6%.

At ZEN Industries, we have our finger on the pulse of the sheet metal market. Call us today at 877-600-0274 to speak with an HVAC ductwork specialist about your project.

To learn more, we recommend the following articles:

5 Reasons Spiral Duct Beats Rectangular Duct

When it Comes to HVAC Duct, Round is Beautiful

architectural spiral ductIn any building, ductwork is a practical solution to an obvious problem, the efficient distribution of conditioned air.

While ductwork for central air-conditioning has been used in the construction industry since the 1960s, spiral duct has gained popularity in recent years for a number of its self-evident advantages.

  • Spiral duct looks cool. Its native appearance provides a modern appeal that is often exploited in the construction of new buildings, leaving the ductwork exposed as an architectural element.

  • Spiral duct is more efficient. Properly installed, spiral duct doesn’t leak, maintaining consistent airflow and air pressure. This allows for superior ventilation while reducing the energy costs of heating and cooling.

  • Spiral duct installation costs less than an equivalent rectangular duct design. Parts, labors, packaging, and waste disposal are all reduced for spiral duct.

  • Cleaning spiral duct is both easier and costs less than working with rectangular duct.

  • Spiral duct can be more space efficient, since joints, connectors, and reinforcements on rectangular duct often take up to an extra 3 inches.


Spiral Duct from ZEN IndustriesAre there any reasons left to continue using rectangular duct? Yes. Although spiral duct is by and large the superior choice for medium and high-pressure systems, rectangular duct remains easier to install and may be more efficient in low pressure installations.

Just as spiral duct can be more space efficient in some circumstances, the same can be said of rectangular duct in the right circumstances. Spiral is not as wide, but it does take up more height. Of course, this is an issue that can often be addressed by using flat-oval instead of rectangular.

Experienced engineers and contractors choose between rectangular and spiral duct based on the specifics of the job and the heating and cooling needs of the building. That said, for years now spiral duct has been gaining in popularity as its potential use in diverse projects is more broadly recognized.

ZEN Industries is Your Best HVAC Duct Source

Welding of heavy gauge ductworkAt ZEN Industries, we manufacture ductwork for all your projects and needs. We are a time-tested fabricator of rectangular duct, spiral duct, double wall spiral, PCD, and more.

The experienced fabricators at ZEN even work in specialty metals, including stainless steel, aluminum, galvanized and galvanneal (paint grip) in gauges ranging from 16 to 26.

  • Rectangular Slip & Drive

  • Rectangular TDF

  • Rectangular Double-Wall

  • Rectangular Welded

  • Spiral Single-Wall

  • Spiral Double-Wall

  • PCD Polyvinyl Coated Ductwork

  • Round Pipe Welded

  • Specialty Items and Accessories

Our HVAC ductwork includes options for Low Pressure, Medium Pressure, and High-Pressure installations. Learn more on our HVAC Ductwork, Specialty Ductwork, and PCD Ductwork pages.

Call us today at 877-600-0274 to speak with an HVAC ductwork specialist about your project.

The ZEN Way

When you put our unique approach together with our time and money saving processes, what do you have? We call it The ZEN Way, and it results in proven cost savings of between 30% and 35%.

Those are the kind of savings that allow HVAC contractors to grow their business and dominate their local markets. At ZEN, our greatest satisfaction comes from playing a part in your success.

Call us today at 877-600-0274, or send us your inquiry using our easy Contact Form.


Success in All About Great Service

The quality of our HVAC duct work is of the highest caliber and our price is competitive with the best in the industry. Of course, ZEN Industries Inc. gains its edge with unbeatable service, and service means people - it's about our experienced personnel and the relationships we build with each and every customer.

Learn more at www.ZENindustries.com

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