What is a Damper?

Industrial dampers modulate, divert, isolate, and shut off airflow or gas in a process system or enclosed space, usually at lower pressures with temperatures that can be as high as 1900 degrees Fahrenheit.

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What is a damper?

Dampers serve numerous purposes in industrial settings. Discover the different types of dampers available with Kelair.

Industrial dampers, at their most basic, are used to control air flow in low pressure environments.  Dampers can be part of a larger system for air pollution control or simply used for industrial ventilation.

Industrial dampers regulate processed air in corrosive, high heat, particulate dense, or clean air environments. Inlet Vane Dampers or Radial Vane Dampers work together with fans or blowers to make them more efficient.

Lighter duty dampers, such as butterfly, are used in a variety of situations in combination with ducting where low leakage, flow control or a combination of the two are appropriate.  Applications for Kelair heavy duty dampers typically include:  isolation, by-pass, fan airflow control, shut-off and pressure relief. 

At Kelair,  we will custom engineer and manufacture the industrial damper that will best fit your needs.  We are small enough to provide immediate assistance and large enough to provide complex solutions.

Below are some definitions of common Damper parts and phrases:

  • Actuator: a device used to operate an industrial damper in a control system.
  • Damper Seals: construction features used to minimize the leakage through a damper
  • Damper: a device used to regulate the flow of air in a system by modulating or two-position control.
  • Drive Blade: a damper blade that is driven directly by and actuator or by a linkage, axel or jackshaft connected to the drive blade in an adjacent damper section
  • Ideal Damper System: a system with a linear relationship between the percent open damper position and the percent of full airflow.
  • Leakage: the amount of air passing through a damper with a given pressure drop and a given torque holding the damper closed.
  • Opposed Blade Damper: a damper constructed so adjacent blades rotate opposite to each other
  • Parallel Blade Damper: a damper constructed so each blade rotates in the same direction as the blade next to it.

Basic Damper Operations

There are 3 basic modes of operation for industrial dampers illustrated on the right:  modulation, diversion and isolation.  Some types of dampers such as guillotines are best suited for isolation/shutoff; while louvers are ideal for modulation; and diverters, as their name implies, perform optimally diverting air and gas flows.  Some industrial dampers such as louvers and diverters, regulate air and gas movement all 3 ways, whereas guillotines are not recommended for modulation and butterflies are not specified for diversion.  Our dedicated professionals at Kelair will work with you to determine the best industrial damper for your unique application.

Modulating Dampers from Kelair


Controls air or gas flow, increasing or decreasing the strength

Use Dampers to Change the Course of Air or Gas Flow


Changes the course of the air or gas flow

Shut off the flow of air or gas


Shuts off the flow of air or gas

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Manufacturer Sales Representatives across the country and sales personnel at our factories will be pleased to discuss your specific industrial application and available options, features and specifications with you.

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