As South African industry faces ever-tightening restrictions on the importation and use of refrigerants containing virgin hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), Afrox has announced the introduction of a new direct drop-in replacement.

Afrox has introduced Forane® 427A, a new 100% hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) blend offering a direct drop-in replacement solution for existing R-22 installations across a broad spectrum of applications.

Afrox’s Special Products and Chemicals’ Manager, Robert Carlton-Shields, says, “Forane® 427A offers a similar performance to R-22, with no ozone depleting potential. There is no other similar product available in this country with such a broad temperature range and therefore with such broad-based application — it’s almost a one-gas-fits-all solution for use in R-22 equipment.”

“It is non-toxic and non-flammable, meeting the highest A1/A1 requirement on both counts, with low global warming potential (GWP).”

“No modification of the installation is necessary for the conversion process. Forane® 427A requires only one oil draining and its replacement by a POE lubricant…By reducing the end cost to the user, Forane® 427A makes the transition to a more environmentally friendly alternative that much easier.”

In terms of the Montreal Protocol, users of the HCFC R-22 in the European Union were subject to a usage and sales ban on virgin product on ozone depleting potential gases and high GWP gases from the beginning of this year. This will be followed by a complete phase-out of HCFCs by 2015 South Africa is also a signatory to the Protocol and local companies who currently import refrigerants containing virgin HCFCs will face heavy restrictions from 2013, in preparation for a similar phase out.

Carlton-Shields concludes, “Forane® 427A has been tried and trusted in Europe and the US for the past six years and is backed up by readily available technical resources.”

“Here in South Africa we’re making excellent progress with a local trial in the food and beverage industry to add to database of overseas case studies.”