Grenfell Tower Disaster
Flammable Refrigerants & the Grenfell Tower disaster
Flammable refrigerants used as a blowing agent in the manufacture insulation (cladding & appliance) & as a coolent in the refrigerator/freezer cooling circuit played a major role in the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Recent fire disasters due to combustable clading insulation made with flammable refrigerants blowing agent :
|14 June 2017 London - click||10 May 2021 London - click|
1) Grenfell Tower Disaster event (14 June 2017) which led to the tragic death of 72 people due to manufacturers used flammable refrigerants in the manufacture of cladding insulation and in the refrigerator cooling circuits :
(non-flammables refrigerants available since 1928 )
The fire started by a Hotpoint / Whirlpool refrigerator-freezer insulation foam produced using butane (A3 class highly flmmable) Blowing Agent3 ignited by a capacitor spark (Intertek report p 8-12), and the refrigerator cooling circuit charged with A3 class1 (highly flammable) R600a refrigerant EXPLODING and spreading the fire to the building cladding4
"Click on images to see more
The culprit materials: Flammable Refrigerantsa
- A3 classa Highly flammable R600 (Butane) refrigerant as a Blowing Agent3 used in the manufacture of Refrigerator/freezer insulation. Caught fire (see Test report page 11-12) & (Which? report)
- A3 classa Highly flammable R600a (Isobutane) used as refrigerant (known as coolent or gas) by Whirlpool/Hotpoint Refrigerator/freezer circuit. Expolded after the flammable insulation caught fire from a capacitor spark, and spread fire to clading insulation.
as a result of the Grenfell disaster in June 2017.
Final Report by Dame Judith Hackitt - May 2018
"The principles of health and safety law do not just apply to those who are engaged in work but also to those who are placed at risk by work activities, including members of the public"
"Residents and consumers need to be at the heart of any new regulatory system"
"This is the very least we can all do for the bereaved and the survivors of the tragdy that occurred on 14 June 2017, and for everyone who needs to know that their homes are safe for them to live in"
“We need a culture change in this industry.
"Why would you want to wait? Why not get ahead of the game and your competitors?”
PHASE 1 Overview Report (Oct 2019)
2.12 Chapter 21 p4 "Rt Hon Sir Martin Moore-Bick"
Arconic Podcast 141 and 142 (12 Feb 2021)
Kingspan Podcast 136,137, 138,139 and 140 (27 Nov, 04 Dec and 11 Dec 2020) Celotex Podcast (20 Nov 2020)
* LEGAL OPINION * LEGAL OPINION * LEGAL OPINION
a) Corporate manslaughter (duty on companies not only regarding safety of products but duty of safety of users while the company is aware of it and do not inform), or
b) Individuals within the company for Gross negligence manslaughter (Inviduals aware of safety issues but intentionally hide information) or / and
c) Other fraud or fraud related charges, fire safety or Health and Safety offences
* REPORTS & BLOGS * REPORTS & BLOGS * REPORTS & BLOGS
Whirlpool / Hotpoint TEST REPORT February 2018
(requested by BEIS/UKGOV).
"Confirms that the insulation used hydrocarbon blowing agent and not meeting standards...."
UNEP Ozone Seretariat Fact Sheet on HFC & Low GWP Alternative as BLOWING AGENTS in the manufacture of Insulation Foam October 2015
Housing After Grenfell blog. Insulation in England & Scotland
- New regulator established to ensure construction materials are safe
Clear . Accurate . Up to date . Accessible . Unambiguous
Space Air (since 1980) is concerned and care for our industry and end users, that the action of Daikin and Cartel forced the introduction of single component A2L class1 (flammable) R32 refrigerant in small AC & Heat Pumps, which can lead to bigger disaster than Grenfell Tower. (click to see more).
Two simple questions needs to be answered by any manufacturer like Whirlpool, Kingspan, Celotex, Arconic, Daikin (and their Cartel)5 who uses flammable refrigerants in materials or in equipment used in any building or dewling when there are non-flammables1 refrigerants available? :
a) WHY use flammable (A2Lor A3 class)1 refrigerants as a blowing agent in the manufacture of insulation used in building clading panels or as foamed insulation in equipment casing (e.g. domestic refrigerators)? when there are over 90 A1 class non-flammable1 alternatives availabe since 1928?
b) WHY manufacturers are ambiguous and do not make it clear on their marketing materials (including sales leaflets & WEBSITES) that the products they sell, contains flammable materials? to meet Advertising Standards Uthority (ASA) "The CAP Code - chapter 3"? or Health & Safety Standards
aA3 class Flammable Refrigerant
R600a A3 class refrigerant was introduced to domestic refrigerators & freezers in 2000 - 2004 by some manufacturers replacing A1 class non-flammable (since 1928) (R12 or R134a ) ignoring warnings from industry & UN Fact Sheet13 which aimed at removing Ozon depleteing refrigerants (CFC & HCFC).
A3 highly flammable (Butane) refrigerant used as insulation blowing agaent use started in 2006 - 2008 to replace CFC / HCFC A1 class non-flammable refrigerants. A3 & A2 class are fire propagator while A1 class is fire supressor.
& ASHRAE34 International Standard clearly indicate that. A1 class non-flammable, A2/A2L flammable & A3 Highly flammable.
3 Blowing Agent
Blowing agent is a substance which is capable of producing a cellular structure via a foaming process in a variety of materials that undergo hardening or phase transition, such as polymers, plastics, and metals. They are typically applied when the blown material is in a liquid stage *Note: Use of class O materials is an old out of dated national product classification (see more). Must use BS EN 13501-1 (class A1 non-combustible and non-flammable or class A2 non-combustible BUT, flammable). (see UNEP - Fact sheet )
4Building Cladding : Composite cladding typically consists of panels 3–5 millimetres (0.12–0.20 in) thick made of a core material sandwiched between two aluminium faces. Grenfell Tower was clad with composite panels with a polyethylene core which contributed to the fire; these panels cost about £2 less than ones with incombustible core.
5Business Cartel ; Daikin Industries/ Chemical have patented (aprox3 00+ patents) A2L flammable R32 refrigerant used in small splits air conditioning equipment and licensed the patents to Japanese (such as Mitsubishi Electric, Fugitsu, Toshiba, etc), Korean (LG & Samsung) & Chinease AC manufacturers.
See more regarding A2L flammable R32 refrigerant used in Air Conditioing equipment (click here)