Designation and Safety Classification of Refrigerants

The basis of the designation of the refrigerants fluids is based on a numbering system

Pure Fluorocarbons (HFC) refrigerants and their blends

The refrigerants are numbered with an R-, followed by the HFC-number, given by the rules of the fluorocarbons numbering system. Isomers are identified with lower cases (ex R 134a). HFC refrigerant blends (i.e. mixtures of pure refrigerants), are numbered after the internationally accepted ASHRAE nomenclature. Blends having the same pure components but with different compositions are identified with upper cases (ex R 404A). Refrigerants having the form R-4xxx are zeotropic blends of two or more refrigerants, while those with the form R-5xxx are azeotropes. The numbers are in chronological order of the refrigerant’s approval by ASHRAE. For the GWP of Refrigerants go to “Learn About – Climate Change, Global Warming & HFCs

Designation and safety classification of refrigerants

 

Type Profile Application GWP
R-32 Air-conditioning     675
R-134a Replace R-12 in most applications. Good performance in medium temperature applications ; household refrigerators; car air conditioning systems; heat pumps; chillers; transport refrigeration; commercial cooling.  1,430
R-245fa Replacement of R-123. Heat pumps, Organic Rankine Cycle.  1,030
R-404A Near azeotropic refrigerant containing R-125, R-143a and R-134a (44/52/4% by weight). Cold-storage cells; supermarket display cases; ice machines; replacement for R-502 in transport refrigeration; retrofit of existing R-502-installations R-407A Zeotropic refrigerant containing R-32, R-125 and R-134a (20/40/40 weight-%). Close replacement of R-22 in commercial refrigeration applications. Possible replacement for R-404A in supermarket chill and low temperature systems.  3,922
R-407C Zeotropic refrigerant containing R-32, R-125 and R-134a (23/25/52 weight-%). New air-conditioning units or replacement for R-22 in existing installations; heat-pumps; industrial and commercial cooling. R-407F Zeotropic refrigerant containing R-32, R-125 and R-134a (30/30/40 weight-%). Close replacement of R-22 in commercial refrigeration applications. Possible replacement for R-404A in supermarket medium and low temperature systems.  1,774
 R-407F Zeotropic refrigrant containing R-32, R-125 and R_134a (30/30/40 weight-%). Close replacement of R-22 in commercial refrigeration applications. Possible replacement for R-404-A in supermarket medium and low temperature systems.  1,824
R-410A Near azeotropic refrigerant containing R-32 and R-125 (50/50 by weight). Substitute for R-22 ; air-conditioning units; heat pumps; cold storage; industrial and commercial refrigeration; substitution of R-13B1 in low temperature application.  2,088
R-417B Contains R-125, R-134a and R-600 (79/18.25/2.75 weight-%). R-22 substitute.  2,920
R-422A Contains R-125, R-134a and R-600a (85.1/11.5/3.4 weight-%). R404A replacement very similar properties; R502 retrofit refrigerant.  3,143
R-422D Contains R-125, R-134a and R-600a (65.1/31.5/3.4 weight-%). R-22 substitue.  2,729
R-427A Contains R-32, R-125, R-134a and R-143a (15/25/50/10 weight-%). R-22 subsitute.  2,138
R-444B Zeotropic refrigerant containing R-32, R-152a and R-1234ze (41.5/10/48.5 weight %)  <350
R-448A Zeotropic refrigerant containing R-32/R-125/R-134a/R-1234yf/R-1234azeE (26/26/21/20/7 weight %) R404A and R-22 replacement for retrofit and new, and for low and medium temperature refrigeration equipment:supermarket fridge and freezer cases, transport refrigeration.  1,386
R-449A  Zeotropic refrigerant containing R-32/R-125/R-134a/R-1234yf/(24.3/24.7/25.7/25.3 weight %) R-404A and R-22 replacement for retrofit and new, and for low and medium temperature refrigeration equipment: supermarket fridge and freezer cases, transport refrigeration.  1,397
R-449B  Zeotropic refrigerant containing R-32/R-125/R-134a/HFO-1234yf/(25.2/24.3/27.3/23.2 weight%) R404A and R-22 replacement for retrofit and new, and for low and medium temperature refrigeration equipment: supermarket fridge and freezer.  1,412
R-450A  Near azeotropic refrigerant containing R-134a and R-1234zeE (42/58 weight %) Primary stage of CO2 cascade systems, DXmedium temperature refrigeration, heat pumps, water-cooled chillers, district heating and cooling, vending machines, beverage dispensers, etc.    600
R452A Zeotropic refrigerant containing R-32, R-125 and R-123yf (11/59/30 weight %) Transport refrigeration, R-404A replacement for commercial refrigeration.  2,140
R452B Zeotropic refrigerant containing R-32, R-125 and R-123yf (67/7/26 weight %) R-410A alternative for chillers.    698
R454A    239
R454B  Zeotropic refrigerant containing R-32 and R-1234yf (68.9/31.1 weight %)    460
R454C a blend of R1234yf (78.5%) and R32 (21.5%) A2L refrigerant replacement for R404A in commercial hermetic refrigeration units.    148
R455A Zeotropic refrigerant containing R-1234yf, R-32 and R-744 (CO2)(75.5/21.5/21.5/3 weight %)  R-404A alternative for low temperature for condensing units and small hermetically sealed systems like plugins    145
R-507 Azeotropic refrigerant containing R-125 and R-143a (50/50% by weight) Cold-storage cells; supermarket display cases; ice machines; replacement for R-502 in refrigerated transport; replacement for R-502; retrofit of existing R-502-installations.  3,985
R513A Azeotropic refrigerant containing HFO-1234yf and R-134a (56.0/44.0% by weight) R-134a an R-410A alternative for chillers.    631
R514A A blend of HFO 1336mzz(Z) (74.7%) with R-1130E (trans-1,2-dichloroethene) (25.3%) Proposed as drop-in substitute to HCFC-123.       2
HFO-1234yf Midly flammable replacement for R-134a Mobile air-conditioning, plug in appliances.       4
HFO-1233zdE Non-flammable, low pressure refrigerant. Alternative to R-123 centrifugal chillers, Organic Rankine Cycle: high temperature heat pumps.
Aerosol Propellants, refrigeration and air-conditioning, insulating foams.
      5
HFO-1234zeE  Midly flammable replacement for R-134a (non-flammable replacement for R-134a (non-flammable for handling and storage) R-134a alternative medium temperature applications like water-cooled chillers (supermarkets and commercial buildings), heat pumps, fridges, vending machines, beverage dispenses, air dryers, CO2 cascade supermarket systems, etc.
Insulating foams, precision solvents, chillers.
      7
HFO-1336mzzZ  Non flammable Chillers.
Insulating foams.
     9

Organic compounds are numbered with the same system as Fluorocarbons.

 

Example :

Propane C3H8 (R-290)
Nb of C atoms is X = 3
Nb of H atoms is Y = 8
Nb of F atoms is Z = 0
Substract 90 from 380 = 290

Inorganic compounds shall be assigned a number in the 700 series, identification numbers are formed by adding the relative molecular mass of components to 700.

 

Example :

R717 = ammonia (molecular mass 17)
R718 = water (molecular mass 18)
R744 = CO2 (molecular mass 44)

Safety classification of refrigerants

The safety classification consists of two alphanumeric characters (e.g. A2); the capital letter corresponds to toxicity and the digit to flammability.

Toxicity classification

Refrigerants are divided into two groups according to toxicity:

 

  • Class A signifies refrigerants for which toxicity has not been identified at concentrations less than or equal to 400 ppm
  • Class B signifies refrigerants for which there is evidence of toxicity at concentrations below 400 ppm
Flammability classification

Refrigerants are divided into three groups according to flammability:

 

  • Class 1 indicates refrigerants that do not show flame propagation when tested in air at 21°C and 101 kPa
  • Class 2 indicates refrigerants having a lower flammability limit of more than 0.10 kg/m3 at 21°C and 101 kPa and a heat of combustion of less than 19 kJ/kg
  • Class 3 indicates refrigerants that are highly flammable as defined by a lower flammability limit of less than or equal to 0.10 kg/m3 at 21°C and 101 kPa or a heat of combustion greater than or equal to 19 kJ/kg
Mixtures

Mixtures, whether zeotropic or azeotropic, with flammability and/or toxicity characteristics which may change as the composition changes during fractionation, shall be assigned a safety group classification based on the worst case of fractionation.

 

Example:

R404A is classified A1

Classification of main refrigerants
Refrigerant Number Name Composition or chemical formula
(mass percentage)
Safety classification
Inorganic Compound
R-717 ammonia NH3 B2
R-718 water H2O A1
R-744 carbon dioxide CO2 A1
Organic Compound
Hydrocarbons
R-290 propane CH3CH2CH3 A3
R-600 butane CH3CH2 CH2CH3 A3
R-600a isobutane CH(CH3)2CH3 A3
R-1270 propylene CH3CH=CH2 A3
Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
R-32 difluoromethane CH2F2 A2
R-125 pentafluoroethane CHF2CF3 A1
R-134a 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane CH2FCF3 A1
R-143a 1,1,1-trifluoroethane CH3CF3 A2
R-152a 1,1-difluoroethane CH3CHF2 A2
Azeotropic mixtures
R-502 R22/R115 (48.8/51.2) A1
R-507 R125/R143a (50/50) A1
Zeotropic mixtures
R-404A R125/R143a/R134a (44/52/4) A1
R-407C R32/R125/R134a (23/25/52) A1
R-410A R32/R125 (50/50) A1