Author Topic: R-410A - refrigerant in air conditioning  (Read 1416 times)

Offline Fire Monkey

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R-410A - refrigerant in air conditioning
« on: January 29, 2018, 09:43:16 AM »
Hello,

I understand that R-410A gas - an component of air conditioning units is classed as A2 flammable (quite 'hard' too ignite). Does any one know just what gas is in these systems - I believe it is a Hydrofluorocarbon. Has any one, whilst carrying out a FRA, felt the need to mention this fuel and  mark it as a hazard  or dangerous substance or mention air con for any other reason (e.g. is it connected to the fire alarm system for auto shut off to prevent smoke being moved around a building). I am presuming that the very small amount of this fuel in the equipment would suggest not (based on systems in offices etc. but not the larger industrial refrigeration units found in say a mortuary. I have some training on air conditioning coming up and I would like to go forearmed with suitable questions regarding fire safety and fire risk assessing.

Thanks

FM

Offline AnthonyB

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Re: R-410A - refrigerant in air conditioning
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2018, 07:04:57 PM »
It's a mixture of difluoromethane (CH2F2, called R-32) and pentafluoroethane (CHF2CF3, called R-125), so not a CFC or HCFC.

It doesn't deplete ozone but has a high global warming potential (1700 x that of CO2) thus being on a par for this with R-22 that it replaces, but how it and the equipment it's used in works is such it's far more efficient and so causes less CO2 to be generated from power plants (apparently)

The MSDS from Honeywell (who own the production rights) states:

FLAMMABLE PROPERTIES
FLASH POINT: Gas, not applicable per DOT regulations
FLASH POINT METHOD: Not applicable
AUTOIGNITION TEMPERATURE: >750? C
UPPER FLAME LIMIT (volume % in air): None by ASTM D-56-82
LOWER FLAME LIMIT (volume % in air): None by ASTM E-681
FLAME PROPAGATION RATE (solids): Not applicable
OSHA FLAMMABILITY CLASS: Not applicable
EXTINGUISHING MEDIA:
Use any standard agent ? choose the one most appropriate for type of surrounding fire (material itself is not flammable)

UNUSUAL FIRE AND EXPLOSION HAZARDS:
Genetron AZ-20 (R-410A) is not flammable at ambient temperatures and atmospheric pressure. However, this material will
become combustible when mixed with air under pressure and exposed to strong ignition sources.
Contact with certain reactive metals may result in formation of explosive or exothermic reactions under specific conditions
(e.g. very high temperatures and/or appropriate pressures).

SPECIAL FIRE FIGHTING PRECAUTIONS/INSTRUCTIONS:
Firefighters should wear self-contained, NIOSH-approved breathing apparatus for protection against possible toxic
decomposition products. Proper eye and skin protection should be provided. Use water spray to keep fire-exposed
containers cool
Anthony Buck
Fire Safety Technical Lead at a BAFE SP205 accredited consultancy

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