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New R1234yf alternative to launch in US

Koura is preparing to introduce its R444A refrigerant as a long-awaited replacement for R1234yf in the United States automotive aftermarket.

Initially developed over a decade ago as an alternative to R134a in vehicle air-conditioning systems, R444A will now be offered as a compatible and more affordable alternative to R1234yf. Like YF, R444A caries an A2L (mild flammability) rating.

Koura’s recently announced R456A now serves as an R134a alternative where permitted, offering similar energy efficiency with a global warming potential (GWP) of 626 compared with R134a’s GWP of 1430.

Formerly referred to as AC5, R444A is a blend of R1234ze(E) with 12 per cent R32 and five per cent R152a, resulting in a GWP of 93, well below the threshold for markets such as the European Union that restrict automotive refrigerants with a GWP greater than 150.

Gregg Smith, president of fluorinated solutions at Koura parent company Orbia, described R444A as “a product OEMs and the market has been demanding for quite some time”.

“As a low-GWP aftermarket solution, it enhances our overarching strategy to deliver sustainable products that help our customers meet supply resiliency and future regulations without compromising performance.”

According to third-party lab tests, R444A can achieve a cabin temperature approximately 2°C colder than R1234yf and reaches a 22°C cabin temperature four minutes faster, making it appealing for hot climate regions.

In addition to its cooling efficiency, Koura highlights the potential benefits of R444A in terms of energy efficiency. Internal combustion engine vehicles may experience improved fuel economy, while electric vehicles could see an extended range.

One of the significant R444A claims is its compatibility with existing servicing equipment, gauges, and tools used for R1234yf.

“As an innovator in the automotive aftermarket sector, Orbia recognises the impact these next-generation refrigerants can bring to OEMs, dealerships, service shops, and all the way down to the self-mechanic at home,” said Mr Smith.

“Our commitment to research and development is coming forward in R444A and R456A, and we cannot wait to bring these products to market to improve performance and passenger comfort in the US.

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