Thermal Dynamics/General Duct Mechanics
There are many different Ducts added by Thermal Dynamics, but there are a set of behaviors shared among all of them, or among all of a type. Knowing these behaviors makes managing pipe networks much easier.
First of all, all connected Itemducts, Fluiducts, or Fluxducts form a unified item, fluid, or energy transport network. Each individual block in the network knows and has access to all external connections on all other blocks in the network. When looking at a Fluxduct using WAILA, the displayed stored energy is equal to the combined storage of the entire network. This level of networking also means that Redstone Flux and Fluids that enter a duct network are instantly split evenly across all other blocks in the network, and available for export from any other location on the network. This also applies to Warp Itemducts, which share energy among each other and teleport items rather than simply moving them.
This networking extends to Itemducts as well, but not in the same way. Itemducts do not transport items instantly, but every item stack moving through a network knows its starting point, its destination, and the path it will take to get there. Item stack destinations are set when the stack enters the network. This does lead to an issue: what happens if the end point fills up or becomes inaccessable? If an item stack arrives at its destination and cannot enter its destination inventory, it attempts to find a new destination. If it reaches a dead end and cannot find a destination, it falls out of the pipe onto the ground. Warp Itemducts use the same routing algorithm, however because they teleport items transit time is not an issue.
Fluiducts and Itemducts of different types will seamlessly connect with one another to form a single network. Fluxducts, however, will not, as each different Fluxduct has different energy storage and transit capabilities. When two different fluxducts connect, they stay as two separate networks, but can exchange RF at that connection point. The the two hybrid ducts, the Fluctuating Itemduct and the Flux-Plated Fluiduct, connect to other Itemducts and Fluiducts seamlessly, but connect as separate networks to other Fluxducts because of their unique power transport properties. However, when two Fluxduct networks connect, they will attempt to send energy to other connected RF-storing blocks and machines before attempting to send energy to other Fluxduct networks.
Fluxducts will automatically connect to other blocks that can emit or receive Redstone Flux, and will automatically extract or insert RF from or to them. Fluiducts and Itemducts will automatically connect to other blocks with inventories or tanks, and will automatically push items and fluids into them, but will not automatically pull items or fluids out of them. To pull items and fluids out of connected inventories, Servos and Retrievers are necessary. Servos directly connect to inventories to pull items and fluids from them and push them into duct networks. Retrievers search inventories connected to their duct networks and pull items to themselves. Servos push things from a source; Retrievers pull things to a destination. However, Servos and Retrievers will not push or pull more items than there are inventory slots available as destinations.
All Ducts except the Cryo-Stabilized Fluxduct have some form of internal storage. Itemducts can store as many items as are shoved into them, although for performance reasons this can be a problem. Fluiducts store 1000mB per block. Fluxducts have internal storage proportional to their tier and transfer rate. The Cryo-Stabilized Fluxduct breaks this pattern, having no internal storage or maximum transfer rate.
The transfer rate of Fluiducts is inversely proportionate to the Viscosity property of the fluid being transported, and directly proportionate to the fluid content of the network. Higher viscosity fluids move through Fluiducts more slowly than lower viscosity fluids. Substances like Destabilized Redstone or Energized Glowstone travel very quickly; substances like Pyrotheum and Cryotheum travel very slowly. However, the range itself sits between 80 and 400 mB per tick. These values can be adjusted by the Servos and Retrievers used to push and pull fluids through the network.
As all ducts are Multipart blocks, they can have Covers attached to them to conceal them behind the appearance of solid walls, floors, or celings. Covered ducts can still be interacted with on the covered side, and WAILA will still detect them as being ducts under the covers.
Finally, all ducts can have individual sided connections enabled or disabled by right-clicking the side with a Crescent Hammer, and while they all have high enough Hardness values to make mining them annoying they can be picked up in a single sneak-right-click from a Crescent Hammer. Sided connection connectivity is toggled independently on each side of a connection, and both sides must allow the connection for it to form, so re-enabling a disabled connection may take more than one try.