Properties of r134a Refrigerant Gas

A refrigerant, typically used in a heat pump and refrigeration cycle, has several industrial and commercial applications. It is a mixture or substance that undergoes phase transitions from fluid to gas and back to fluid. The 20th Century saw the use of fluids such as halons, chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) as widely preferred refrigerator choices because of their inert, nonflammable and non-toxic properties. However, their impact on ozone depletion and global warming made them lose their ground. Since then, several alternatives have been used as their replacement. One such widely used refrigerant in today’s times is R134a that is being made available for several applications by leading refrigerant suppliers.

Coming from the HFC (hydrofluorocarbons) family of refrigerants, R134a is also known as tetrafluoroethane (CH2FCF3) consisting of two carbon atoms, 2 hydrogen atoms and 4 fluorine atoms. The properties of R134a refrigerant gas are discussed below:

i. R134a is no-toxic, non-flammable and non-corrosive.

ii. R134a has a boiling point of -15.34 degree Fahrenheit or -26.3 degree Celsius that makes it exist in gas form when exposed to environment. This is a desired property as the boiling point of a refrigerant should be below the target temperature.

iii. R134a has a high heat of vaporization.

iv. Its auto-ignition temperature is 1418 degree Fahrenheit or 770 degree Celsius.

v. The critical temperature of R134a is 252 degree Fahrenheit or 122 degree Celsius.

vi. The universally accepted cylinder color code for R134a refrigerant is light blue.

vii. Its solubility in water is 0.11% by weight at 77degree Fahrenheit or 25 degree Celsius.

viii. It has a moderate density in liquid form.

ix. R134a has zero Ozone layer depleting properties and hence became popular as an ideal replacement for dichlorodifluoromethane (R-12), which was known to have an adverse impact on the Ozone layer.

x. R134a has negligible acidification potential.

xi. This refrigerant has a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 1300. GWP is a relative measure of the amount of heat trapped in the atmosphere by a greenhouse gas.

xii. The low molecular weight, volatility, lipophilicity and liquid state at room temperature makes the refrigerant as organic solvents in commercial industries.

xiii. R134a has fairly good dielectric properties as it has high thermal stability, low boiling point, and chemical inertness against the construction materials used; and is non-toxic and non-flammable. . A dielectric substance in its gaseous state can be used to prevent electric discharges.

R134a refrigerant gas is commonly used across multiple applications as listed below:

  1. Used in the area of centrifugal, rotary screw, scroll and reciprocating compressors as a replacement for R-12 CFC
  2. Used in air conditioning system in newer automotive vehicles
  3. Used in plastic foam blowing in the manufacturing industry
  4. Used as a propellant in the pharmaceuticals industry
  5. Used in gas dusters and in air driers for the purpose of removing moisture from compressed air
  6. Used in particle detectors such as cryogenic particle detectors

A number of industries and commercial applications in India are dependent on R134a refrigerant suppliers for their operations. These suppliers source such gases from globally renowned manufacturers at competitive prices.