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Chemours tests find “below standard” R410A

USA: Chemours has claimed that in analysis tests on five commercially available refrigerants on the US market, four failed to meet AHRI 700 specifications.

Over a 9-month period, Chemours claims it purchased five commercially available 25lb (11.3kg) cylinders of R410A from competing brands. The cylinders were then sampled and analysed under AHRI 700 testing conditions. Chemours claims that four out of five of the cylinders, labelled as “meeting industry standards,” in fact failed to meet the AHRI 700 specifications for blend composition, moisture, and non-condensables. 

AHRI 700 specifies acceptable levels of contaminants for fluorocarbon, hydrocarbon, and carbon dioxide refrigerants regardless of source and lists acceptable test methods. 

Although R410A is generally described as a 50/50 blend of R125 and “mildly flammable” R32, the AHRI 700 standard allows for 49.5%-51.5% of R125 and 48.5%-50.5% of R32. Two of the unnamed refrigerants tested by Chemours are said to have exceeded these specifications. The worst example comprised just 43.58% R32.

Results from the Chemours tests

Two other refrigerants exhibited contaminant levels above the accepted AHRI 700 limits. One, in particular, is said to have exceeded the specifications for both moisture and non-condensables. Chemours’ analysis is said to have revealed 3.06% by volume of non-condensables, more than twice the limit of less than 1.5%, and 11.7ppm of moisture, against the specification of less than 10ppm.

In a related investigation, Chemours says that several cylinders of competitor R404A and R407C refrigerants were also shown to contain what it describes as “low-quality” mixtures.

Chemours warns that bad compositions, non-condensables, and high moisture may lead to flammability risks, increased discharge temperature, damage to the compressor and metering device, poor cooling capacity and decreased system energy efficiency.

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