World News

Industry news and insights from Europe and around the World

UK News

Latest news and developments in the United Kingdom


Keep up-to-date with the latest new products and technology


General articles, applications and industry analysis

A-Gas repeats safety warnings

SOUTH AFRICA: Refrigerant supplier A-Gas South Africa has raised awareness of brazing and debrazing best practices to prevent potential accidents.

The advice follows recent incidents in Australia and a subsequent safety report issued by SafeWork NSW after workers had been severely burnt when a mixture of refrigerant and compressor oil was expelled and ignited while servicing air conditioning systems.

The systems contained the non-flammable refrigerant R22 which, when mixed with oil, was ignited by an oxy-acetylene torch used by the workers’ to unsweat the copper fittings, when replacing the refrigerant compressor.

“Any brazing or debrazing must only be carried out after recovery of any excess gas in the system, and following the introduction of an inert gas such as oxygen-free nitrogen (OFN) into the pipework,” says A-Gas South Africa national sales manager Michael Labacher on the company’s website.

“It is critical to expel oxygen from the internal system so as to prevent flash-ignition of hot oil, a particular problem when debrazing welded connections on replacement compressors,” he writes, pointing out that OFN inhibits oxidisation of internal copper pipes and fittings.

A-Gas states that while unsweating copper fittings is “an established and accepted practice” it is extremely hazardous and unsafe as heat from a naked flame can result in the ignition of any expelled refrigerant and oil mist.

“A side effect is that trace quantities of refrigerant will also decompose as a result, and generate toxic fumes,” says Michael Labacher.

Further information here.

Related stories:


Latest News

20th July 2024

Munters set to acquire Geoclima

SWEDEN/ITALY: Pioneering Italian chiller manufacturer Geoclima is set to be acquired by Swedish air treatment and climate solutions company Munters. 
19th July 2024

Bank to retrofit 62% of branches to heat pumps

CANADA: The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has announced a multi-million-dollar retrofit of its branches in Canada to low-carbon heating and cooling systems such as heat pumps.
19th July 2024

Madrid installs cool bus shelters

SPAIN: Madrid’s municipal bus company EMT has installed bus shelters with in-built cooling systems at two locations in the city. 
19th July 2024

Beijer Ref reports record profit in Q2

SWEDEN: Wholesaler Beijer Ref has revealed Q2 as its best ever quarter, with sales of SEK9,681m (€835m) and record profitability.
18th July 2024

Climate committee calls for action on heat pumps

UK: A UK government advisory body has backed calls to make electricity cheaper by removing policy costs from electricity prices. 
18th July 2024

Customs block quota-busting F-gas shipment

ITALY: An unnamed “specialised” company from the Piedmont region of northwest Italy faces a fine of up to €150,000 for exceeding its F-gas import quota.