The Condenser - A Closer Look at Baffle Blades

Condenser - A Closer Look at Baffle Blades

What is a baffle blade? What sets it apart from other louver blades? Learn the difference with this quick Condenser article.

J-Blades and K-Blades

Back in the day, stationary louver blades were typically divided into two categories: the J-blade and the K-blade. Some manufacturers still use this terminology today.

The name “J-blade” comes from the shape of a straight blade profile. Straight blades have a smooth profile sloping down to the face of the louver. This profile can slope down evenly or have slight drops in the profile to facilitate natural drainage off the blade. A drain trough can complete the “J” shape with its curve. The “K-blade” refers to another style of blade, commonly called the baffle blade.


Drainable and non-drainable baffle blades


Baffle Blades, Designed to Protect

Baffle blades have one key difference over the straight blade: a step towards the top of the blade that creates a “K” shape. This step, known as the baffle, serves as a catch for incoming water. Air can easily pass over the baffle, while heavier water droplets will be caught under the baffle’s curve. With nowhere else to go, the captured water will slide down towards the face of the blade. Baffle blades can also receive drain troughs to facilitate water drainage.

In terms of water rejection, baffle blades provide a middle ground between straight blades and chevron blades. The baffle catches rain before it can infiltrate the louver. They offer protection from rain without sacrificing air performance. Chevron blades provide the most protection, with minimal performance loss, but their unique blade shape will give the louver a distinctive look. If you're looking for that louver blade look, and you need good storm protection, then a baffle blade louver may serve your needs. Be sure to check the louver's submittal and make sure it works for your application.


Blade profiles of a baffle blade


For more on louvers, check out these Newsstand articles:


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