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Everything you wanted to know about R32 and A2L refrigerants

Posted by Gerry on January 10, 2018

Everything you need to know about R32 and other A2L refrigerants

RSL have the answers. Simply call us with questions.

See tips below.

R32 and other A2L “Low Flammability” refrigerants

  • Generally, the lower the GWP the higher the flammability.
  • A2L only applies when the gas is in the system!
  • Otherwise must be treated same as A3 - extremely flammable gas -during transport (ADR), storage, charging and maintenance. Same way as you treat Propane etc.
  • Closed vans should be ventilated & labelled for hazardous. Cylinders should be stored outside.
  • Special tools may be required where it might come into contact with electrical spark or similar, e.g. pumps, reclaim units, leak detectors and similar. Most reputable brands, Yellow Jacket etc. now available for dual use. Ask RSL. Most hand tools, flaring etc are OK. R32 Cylinders have left hand thread!
  • Some form of ventilation should be used when working with the gas. ATEX Zone 2 applies for risk assessment. Fire extinguisher must be to hand.
  • Avoid basement installs or where gas can congregate. Always keep ventilating. R32 is heavier than air. Besides flammability, risk of asphyxia.
  • EN378 and F-Gas regs. say that everyone working with these should have training in skills of handling flammables, personal protective equipment, leak prevention & detection, cylinder handling, charging, recovery & disposal.
  • Systems must be designed in accordance with the risks from flammability, strict max. system gas charges, protect pipework from mechanical damage, dedicated leak detection & alarm types, review ventilation issues.
  • Never charge existing HFC systems (eg R410A) with A2L gas, only ones specifically designed for A2L gas. Use minimum charge necessary and avoid losses eg long charging lines etc.
  • Observe strict brazing regulations as for flammable gases. Greatest possible hazard is gas build up in the local area. When working on existing installs- recover all gas, break vacuum with nitrogen then OK to braze.
  • Make sure proper labelling used.
  • Make sure recovery cylinders have correct pressure and fill ratings for A2L. R32 similar Pressures/Temperature as R410A
  • Always fire extinguisher to hand at least 2 kg size.
  • A2L will ignite in naked flame, unlikely with electrical spark. A3 will ignite with either.
  • Risk analyses should reflect all of the above.

Ask RSL !