From the beginning of last year, all vehicles with air-conditioning produced in the EU could no longer use R134a for environmental reasons. Since then, the industry has been using R1234yf, usually known under gas producer Honeywell’s trade name ‘Solstice’.
National Refrigerants is an authorised distributor in the UK of R1234yf and it plans to use its exhibition space at Automechanika Birmingham to promote awareness of the gas.
Simon Ravenscroft from the company explained: “The main change apart from the new gas being much more environmentally friendly is that R1234yf has been classified as ‘mildly flammable’.
“This means that while it can catch fire, it is relatively difficult. It has been fully tested for safety and approved by all the car manufacturers and has actually been in use since 2011”.
“What is important to know is while it is only mildly flammable as far as health and safety are concerned there is no classification for ‘mildly flammable’ so for storage and transportation purposes they have to been treated as ‘highly flammable’. Our staff will be on hand to help our visitors understand what is required during the big switch’ he concluded.