REDwire Types of centrifugal fans and when to use them

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Northern Industrial Supply Co. (NISCO)

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A variety of centrifugal fans are available for different applications.

Northern Industrial Supply Company (NISCO) is the ideal source for a wide range of centrifugal fans. As an expert supplier, the company can help its customers determine which fan is best suited for their application. Its website also provides helpful information on the different types of centrifugal fans and their characteristics, capabilities and advantages.

Different types of centrifugal fans

Centrifugal fans use a series of turning blades to increase the pressure of an incoming airstream. These fans will accelerate the air, change the direction of the air, and provide a steady flow. Some of the most common types available include:

  • Forward curved fans, sometimes referred to as a squirrel cage fan because of the wheel type, have a forward impeller that is relatively small. The blades on these fans curve in the same direction as they rotate. These fans are ideal for low-speed, low-pressure applications. Their use in industrial applications is limited due to the delicate construction of the impeller, shaft, housing and bearings.
  • Backward inclined fans are available with three standard blade types: curved airfoil, curved single thickness, and flat single thickness. When compared to forward curved fans, the blades are heavier, larger and are curved in the opposite direction. This type of fan offers the highest speed and is considered the most efficient. Backward inclined fans are usually the best choice for applications with low-pressure and high-volume requirements.
  • Radial blade fans are also called paddle wheel fans because of the impeller design. It has many flat blades that extend perpendicular to the direction of the wheel's rotation. These fans produce medium-to-high pressure and can move high mass or volume of fluid. This makes them ideal for material handling applications.
  • Airfoil blade fans have hollow, backward inclined blades. They are well-suited to handling large volumes of clean air at low to moderate static pressures. They are used for induced and forced draft fans for a range of applications.
  • Radial tip fans have backward, curved blades that cup in the direction of rotation. These fans are compact, yet work great for high-volume airflow and high-pressure applications.
  • Inclined fans feature rugged construction with backward inclined wheels that are enclosed in a tube-axial casing. They are primarily used for low-pressure airflow applications due to their low efficiency in comparison to other centrifugal fan types.

Additional details

For more information on the many types of centrifugal fans available, contact NISCO. With multiple locations in Ontario, the company is well positioned to meet its customers’ heating, ventilation and air conditioning needs.


Northern Industrial Supply Co. (NISCO)

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