Duct Tape Durability Testing

TitleDuct Tape Durability Testing
Publication TypeReport
LBNL Report NumberLBNL-54767
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsSherman, Max H., and Iain S. Walker
PublisherLawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Abstract

Duct leakage has been identified as a major source of energy loss in residential buildings. Most duct leakage occurs at the connections to registers, plenums or branches in the duct system. At each of these connections a method of sealing the duct system is required. Typical sealing methods include tapes or mastics applied around the joints in the system. Field examinations of duct systems have typically shown that these seals tend to fail over extended periods of time. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has been testing sealant durability for several years. Typical duct tape (i.e. fabric backed tapes with natural rubber adhesives) was found to fail more rapidly than all other duct sealants.This report summarizes the results of duct sealant durability testing of four UL 181B-FX listed duct tapes (two cloth tapes, a foil tape and an Oriented Polypropylene (OPP) tape). One of the cloth tapes was specifically developed in collaboration with a tape manufacturer to perform better in our durability testing. The tests involved the aging of common "core-to-collar joints" of flexible duct to sheet metal collars, and sheet metal "collar-to-plenum joints". Periodic air leakage tests and visual inspection were used to document changes in sealant performance.The current study is a continuation of ongoing research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Sherman and Walker, 2003; Walker and Sherman 2003; Walker and Sherman 2000; Sherman and Walker, 1998) that has the following objectives and outcomes: