The Cooperative Research Project Team from car engineering group SAE International looking into HFO 1234 yf has confirmed that the refrigerant is safe to use in automotive direct expansion air conditioning systems.
The SAE Cooperative Research Project Team said the estimated overall risk of vehicle fire exposure attributed to its use is nearly six orders of magnitude less than the current risk of vehicle fires due to all causes and also well below other risks accepted by the general public.
All OEMs in the new CRP have indicated agreement with these conclusions, SAE said. The CRP members are Chrysler/Fiat, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, PSA, Renault and Toyota.
The team said: “During numerous and frequent meetings, the CRP members detemined that the refrigerant release testing by Daimler was unrealistic in that it created extreme conditions that favoured ignition while ignoring many factors that would be present in a real-world collision. These factors include the potential dispersing effect of the engine cooling fan, the quenching effect of front end compartment deformation, the extinguising effect of steam released due to radiator breakage and the diversion of a refrigerant through a damaged condenser to the exterior of the engine compartment.”