The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) announced significant changes to refrigerant paint colour designations in the revised version of AHRI Guideline N, Assignment of Refrigerant Container Colors.
Revisions 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.
AHRI Guideline N previously stipulated that specific paint colours be used for refrigerant containers as an additional means of refrigerant identification. However, with the increasing number of refrigerants approved for use, there was concern over the potential misidentification of similarly colored containers. More than half of respondents to an AHRI survey of refrigerant handlers found that container colors had caused confusion. This confusion was likely to increase as new refrigerants are added to the market.
“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.”
While AHRI guidelines serve as recommendations for industry and are not required by law. However, most industry members use Guideline N, and 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 will continue to assign individual PMS ink colours for printed materials only, including the product label on containers and container cartons. The guideline already requires that all flammable refrigerants include a red band on top of the container. Guideline N is free to download from AHRI’s website.