REFRIGERANT GAS CATEGORIES
Based on their properties, Freons are classified into several categories. Depending on the need specificities, some categories shall be preferred:
. Organic compounds: water, carbon dioxide
. Hydrocarbons : butane, pentane, propane, propylene…
. CFC’s (chlorofluorocarbons): R11, R12, R113, R115, R502
. HCFC’s (hydrochlorofluorocarbons): R21, R22, R123, R124, R401a, R402a, R408a, R409a
. HFC’s (hydrofluorocarbons): R32, R125, R134a, R15a, R143a, R152a, R404a, R407a, R410a, R507
. Unclassifiable refrigerant gases: R630, R631, R12b1, R12b1 and so on
Refrigerant gases are rarely called under their international denomination due to their complex names. An R-ABCDE abbreviation was chosen – R meaning refrigerant.
. A: number of double bonds – doesn’t appear if 0
. B: number of carbon atoms minus one (C-1) – doesn’t appear if 0
. C: number of hydrogen atoms plus one (H+1)
. D: number of fluorine atoms (F)
. E: used to determine isomers (similar raw formula but not under its half-developed form)
For example, R134 is a freon composed of 2 carbon atoms, 2 hydrogen atoms and 4 fluorine atoms.
REFRIGERANT GAS PROPERTIES
Apart from some volatile organic compounds or hydrocarbons, refrigerant gases are usually not harmful: they are non flammable, non corrosive and non toxic. However, they replace breathable air particularly in poorly ventilated or confined spaces.
Besides potential risks of anoxia, some freons have anesthetic properties which make them potentially hazardous. Because industrial refrigeration gases can be dangerous, their use requires the implementation of a refrigerant leak detection system.
Refrigerant leak detection system (industrial refrigerant gas detector)
Halogenated hydrocarbons belong to the CFC and the HCFC categories. They are regulated under a specific regulation: prohibition or limitation of use with a required implementation of a refrigerant leak monitoring system. Other refrigerant leaks are regulated under chemical products regulations but it is highly recommended to use an industrial refrigeration gas detection system as well…
Freons are heavier than air. They tend to remain stagnant and progressively replace oxygen. For optimal freon detection, refrigerant sensors should be placed under the cooling unit and linked to a gas detection controller. In case of leakage, the controller unit will shut down the power supply of the cooling installation.