Ducting is an unexciting but critical component of the vast majority of grow rooms in the world of hydroponics. It's used principally to move air along defined paths within and around the growing area for the purpose of bringing fresh air in and removing hot, stale and humid air.
Ducting comes in a range of popular standard sizes, namely 4", 5", 6", 8", 10" and 12". Bigger sizes have started to appear lately but these ones form the core of the market.
Ducting comes in two main forms, rigid and flexible. In both cases there are various qualities and grades to create further subcategories but we'll get to that in a minute...
So what's the difference between rigid and flexible? Well, as you may suspect, rigid ducting comes in solid lengths of rigid material, usually metal or plastic with the former being the premium and most robust option and the latter being the budget. Along with lengths of pipework, various fixtures and fittings are available to enable you to create ducting runs with angles to follow around corners, split the ducting in various ways or to connect lengths of different sizes. These bends and splitters are also completely suitable for use in flexible ducting runs.
Flexible ducting is by far the most sold ducting component in the world of hydroponics, there are two main subcategories: standard and acoustic, the difference being that the latter has a thick lining of sound deadening material to reduce wind noise where that is a problem. The most basic form of flexible ducting is plain aluminium foil surrounding a wire coil, this does the job but is prone to tearing. This issue is addressed with the most popular category of ducting sold today, combi ducting, aluminium foil ducting with the addition of a plastic jacket to improve tear resistance and avoid small rips or tears creating big problems in your air flow set up.
When adding your ducting components to the basket don't forget to double check to specify the correct size and length for your project along with any extras you may need like duct tape and fast clamps to get that perfect seal and ensure no undesirable odours escape or lost efficiency from your fans or filters.