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Report finds R32 poses low safety risk

R32-studyCHINA: The “mildly flammable” lower GWP refrigerant R32 has been found to pose only a low safety risk in an air conditioning study in China.

The study, carried out by researchers from the Tianjin University of commerce and the Tsinghua Tong Heng planning design and Research Institute, looked at the leak and diffusion of R32 from a 5mm hole in the evaporator while the air conditioner was running. A wall-mounted air conditioner was employed, installed at a height of 2.2m and sized for a room of 31m³.

It found that the combustible zone of R32 only appears near the leak hole, and its duration is very short. Combustion experiments echoed previous tests with R32 that a flame diffuses slightly, but cannot spread effectively.

R32 is being promoted as a lower GWP replacement for R410A in air conditioning systems. It has been designated as an A2L, “mildly flammable”, refrigerant by ASHRAE.

The report can be viewed and downloaded here

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Manufacturers maintain R32 is safe – September 16, 2014
AUSTRALIA: Air conditioning manufacturers’ groups have hit back at suggestions that the low GWP refrigerant R32 is extremely flammable, highly toxic and causes cancer. Read more…

What future for R410A? – August 26, 2015
Interesting new low GWP alternative refrigerants, combined with an expected relaxation of charge limits on flammable refrigerants, suggest that the days of R410A being the commercial air conditioning refrigerant of choice could soon be numbered. Read more…

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