Arlington, Virginia: The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) has announced introducing significant changes to refrigerant paint colour designations in the revised version of AHRI Guideline N, ‘Assignment of Refrigerant Container Colors’. The revisions, the press release said, now specify that all refrigerant containers should have one uniform paint colour, a light green-grey (RAL 7044), and that existing individually assigned container paint colours should be transitioned to that colour by 2020.
The press release stated that previously, AHRI Guideline N stipulated that specific paint colours be used for refrigerant containers as an additional means of refrigerant identification. However, the press release explained, with the increasing number of refrigerants approved for use, there was concern over the potential misidentification of similarly coloured containers, and in an AHRI survey of refrigerant handlers, more than half of the respondents found that container colours had caused confusion, which was likely to increase as new refrigerants are added to the market.
The press release informed that AHRI will continue to assign individual PMS ink colours for printed materials only, including the product label on containers and container cartons. The guideline, the press release added, already requires that all flammable refrigerants include a red band on top of the container.
“Misidentifying refrigerants can lead to serious safety issues since refrigerants have different operating pressures and, in some cases, flammable properties,” said Maureen Beatty, Chair of the AHRI committee that oversaw the revision. “It can also cause equipment damage if refrigerants are used in the wrong applications. Therefore, we decided the best course of action for the industry was to update the guideline to ensure that refrigerants continue to be used correctly and safely based on the required product markings and labels.”
The press release highlighted that the US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 49 for hazmat transportation regulations and CFR Title 29 for occupational safety and health regulations require that all hazardous material containers, including refrigerant cylinders and drums, be properly labelled to clearly identify the contents. These container labels and markings should always be used as the primary means to identify the type of refrigerant in a container, added the press release.
AHRI said that all refrigerant users should be aware that the label will now serve as the primary means of positively identifying the type of refrigerant in a cylinder or drum.
AHRI informed that Guideline N is available for download from its website for free.