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R134A Refrigerant: Everything You Need to Know

R134A Refrigerant: Everything You Need to Know

When it comes to cooling things off in your car or home, nothing beats air conditioning. But how does this wonder of modern conveniences work? 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane or R134a Refrigerant as it is more commonly known as, is a haloalkane refrigerant similar to the now defunct R-12 gas that was used for refrigerant cooling until it was linked to depleting the ozone layer.

The boiling point of R134a Refrigerant is an astonishing -26.3 degrees Celsius or -15.34 degrees Ferinheight at standard atmospheric pressures.

R134a Refrigerant is most commonly used in cooling the air temperatures in vehicles and homes. This was not the first choice of gases for this use. Before the early 1990s, the harmful R-12 refrigerant was utilized until it was found to cause severe depletion of the ozone layer of the atmosphere. Since then there have been made available retrofit kits that convert a unit using R-12 to the more eco friendly R134a Refrigerant.

There are other uses for the R134a Refrigerant, such as in by compressing the gas it becomes an effective propellant. In the pharmaceutical field it is used to deliver much needed medications such as inhalers and other bronchodilator medications. Many air soft guns utilize the gas as the primary means of propellant. It is used in the building industry to blow plastic foams for insulation. It can be used as a solvent for cleaning surfaces and removing gum or other sticky substances by super cooling them, thereby making them brittle and easier to remove. Due to its ability to super freeze objects it is used in some air dehumidifiers and utilized as a moisture remover for air compressors. R134a Refrigerant is also seeing some application to cool over clocked computer processors that generate massive amounts of heat.

When R134a Refrigerant is compressed inside air dusters, it is a translucent liquid that boils when it comes into contact with ambient room temperature air and, if desired, extracted from the can of air by dispensing it upside down. The reaction of the gas as it comes in contact with room temperature air causes the white smoke like appearance; this in fact is the moisture in the air freezing on contact.

The use of R134a Refrigerant has been under recent scrutiny as it has also been attributed to climate changing effects as well. As of the beginning of 2011 the European Union has banned it from being used in all newly manufactured vehicles. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has been pushing to have it replaced with a new fluorochemical gas called HFO-1234yf or CH2 for automotive refrigerant systems. The state of California is working on legislation to prohibit canned R134a Refrigerant to private individuals so as to avoid recharging air conditioning systems. Wisconsin has banned the sale of canisters under fifteen pounds since October 1994, but this is only applicable to refrigerant use. However this is not the case for those wishing to purchase canisters of compressed air cans for dusting electrical appliances and other household goods.

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