WARRENDALE, Pa. — The SAE International Cooperative Research Project (CRP1234-4) team, which formed last year, has announced that the CRP team continues to review relevant research and testing to finalize its risk assessment, and it has a high level of confidence that the refrigerant R-1234yf can be used safely in automotive applications.

The CRP team said it continues its process of carefully reviewing the use of R-1234yf by using universally accepted engineering methods, including analysis of recent OEM testing from actual vehicle crash data, on-vehicle simulations, laboratory simulations, bench tests, and over 100 engine compartment refrigerant releases. Based on this testing the CRP has found that the refrigerant is highly unlikely to ignite and that ignition requires extremely idealized conditions.

The SAE CRP team also indicated that the refrigerant release testing recently completed by Daimler was unrealistic by creating extremely idealized conditions for ignition. These conditions include specific combinations of temperature, amount, and distribution of refrigerant, along with velocity, turbulence, and atomization, which are highly improbable to simultaneously occur in real-world collisions.

Publication date: 5/6/2013