Some food manufacturing plant engineers might not be aware of a new generation of refrigeration sealants that have been specially developed for industrial systems of 1.5 tons of refrigerant and larger, according to Paul Appler, Director of Research & Development, Cliplight Mfg., a Toronto-based manufacturer of leak detection, refrigeration sealants, and accessories.
These sealants are capable of stopping refrigerant leaks from the inside out without any adverse effects to system components. Of course, the best approach is to try to find and repair a leak through conventional leak detection and repair methods. A sealant should be used only as a last resort. Whether it’s by conventional means or by a sealant, stopping refrigerant leaks is not only profitable to a food manufacturer’s bottom line, but it also saves energy and protects the environment from leaked refrigerants.
Unlike automotive air conditioning systems, these exclusive formulas are designed for HVAC rooftops, refrigeration chillers, refrigeration compressor racks, and other stationary industrial systems.
Appler has developed a checklist of tips for using an industrial refrigeration system sealant:
1) The system should leak no more than 14 percent of its charge over a four-week period in order for a sealant to be used. Leaks this size and larger can typically be found by using standard electronic and dye detection methods. However, if the leak is undetectable or inaccessible, an industrial strength sealant can be successful with leaks of this magnitude or smaller.
2) Moisture, acid and any other non-condensable must be removed from the system prior to administering the sealant.
3) Systems which have leaked over 17 percent of their total charge are probably contaminated. Refrigerant recovery is recommended for the purpose of drying, removing light particulates, and replacing suction and liquid line dryers (where required). The refrigerant can then be reintroduced back into the system if deemed suitable by the technician.
4) Systems under five tons shouldn’t exceed an application of one three-ounce can of sealant. Systems over five tons can receive two cans, but separated by a minimum 10-day period. During this intermediate time, system pressure and temperatures should be checked to evaluate the first application’s success before adding the second can.
“Sealants are engineered for leaks that go undetected because of their small size and/or intermittent nature,” said Appler. “If you can find the leak, fix it. If you can’t find it, then use a sealant.”
Paul Appler is available for questions at email@example.com or 866-548-3644.