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Types of Industrial Fans

An industrial fan is different from a general-purpose fan in many ways. A general-purpose fan is used for residential and light commercial activity. An industrial fan is used for providing a large flow of air or gas to different industrial processes in various industries.

These fans are designed with heavier duty materials and components to operate longer, supply greater air flow and pressure, and meet more stringent environmental and ambient requirements.

Industrial fans are mainly categorized into one of two general types: centrifugal fans and axial fans.

Centrifugal Fan Type

Centrifugal fans are commonly known as blowers and ideal for high-pressure applications. They have several advantages compared to axial fans in terms of energy efficiency, durability, low maintenance, versatility in handling different types of air and pressures and they come in multiple sizes. There are six basic types of centrifugal fans based on the blade configuration. Each type has its own application range and different ability to perform in the industrial processes. There are six types of centrifugal fans based on the blade types such as the squirrel cage, backward inclined fans, radial blade fans, airfoil blade fans, radial tip fans, and inline centrifugal fans.

Centrifugal fans are used in applications such as air handling units, process heating and cooling, electronic cooling and boiler combustion air.

Axial Fan Type

They are also known as propeller fans. They provide large volumes of air at a relatively low pressure. In this process, air enters and leaves the fan along the axis of the fan hub. Axial design normally uses axial forces to achieve the movement of the air or gas, spinning a central hub with blades extending radially from its outer diameter Such types of fans are found in simple cooling or extraction applications such as moving air from factory to outside, condenser cooling in refrigeration and desk fans.

Axial fans are further classified into the propeller, tube axial, vane axial, inline centrifugal fans. Classification is mainly based on the different types of blade shapes which include aerofoil, sickle, paddle, and variable pitch. They also have a lower power input.
Axial fan types have fan wheels with diameters between 0.3 meters to 9 meters, though axial cooling tower fan wheels may exceed 25 meters in diameter.

Mixed Flow Fan Type

They combine both features of axial and centrifugal fans by employing the air movement techniques of both. The pressure development of the mixed flow fan is greater than an axial fan and more similar to the Centrifugal fan. Generally used in residential and light commercial ventilation applications.

Tangential Fan Type

They are barrel-shaped fans, having curved forward blades that are generally many times longer than any given diameter. These fans tend to scoop the air up and deliver it at relatively low pressure over a longer length, ideal for cabinet cooling or process air coverage.

Tangential fans have an advantage over axial fans is the fact that they provide extremely smooth laminar airflow over the whole frame width. This makes tangential fan suitable for applications such as air conditioning systems, air curtains, computer systems, instrument racks, convector fans, ovens, dehumidifiers, and ventilators.