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BOC launches new gas to end misery of leaky air conditioning systems

BOC Gases : 24 March, 2003  (New Product)
Leaks in the air conditioning system of cars in the UK, previously undetectable by the human eye, are now a thing of the past thanks to BOC. BOC, together with US company Honeywell, have launched a new refrigerant gas in the UK, Honeywell R-134aUV. The gas, which includes an ultraviolet dye so that mechanics can pinpoint leaks faster and easier, will help reduce refrigerant leakage into the atmosphere. Under the 1990 Environmental Protection Act the deliberate release of refrigerant gases into the atmosphere is illegal.
One of the main causes of a cars air conditioning system failing is due to a leak of refrigerant gas from the system. Currently, there are two methods of detecting a leak; firstly, there is electronic leak detection, which sniffs the atmosphere and emits a visual and/or audible tone as it comes into contact with refrigerant gas, or the injection of an UV dye into the air conditioning system which can detect leaks using a UV lamp.

Robert Moore, BOCís business manager, refrigerants, said: 'The disadvantages of the two existing methods are that electronic leak detectors are quite expensive and the injecting of a UV dye into the system can be messy.

'The benefit of having the UV dye already pre-mixed is that there is no need to purchase, store and handle separate bottles, tubes or cartridges of dye. This new feature saves time and labour by eliminating the need to inject dyes separately and avoiding the potential for spillage of the dyes. The introduction of the dye into R-134a is also a boost for customer confidence as they can physically see the leak for themselves.'

R-134aUV can not only be used to find an existing leak, it can be also used in a preventative role. During a car service R-134aUV can be used to charge an existing R-134a system, that does not contain the UV-detection dye. This will mean that future leaks will be easier to detect once the UV-detectable dye has been introduced into the air conditioning system.

The new gas contains a high-technology dye formulation that meets existing European Union standards. The effectiveness of ultraviolet dye for refrigerant leak detection is recognised by a number of automotive manufacturers and has proved itself to be a valuable tool in the service after market. The new gas, which is available in 13.6kg disposable cans, is compatible with existing UV lamps currently used to detect leaks.

Robert said, 'We have always stocked a wide variety of products for the automotive sector throughout out Tradequip centres. However, we have now launched a full range of air-conditioning equipment. This new air conditioning equipment package includes everything from recovery machines to poly-alkylene glycol oils. We are excited about this new product range which means we can meet the needs of customers now working in or entering the air conditioning repair market.'
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