Updated Ammonia Refrigeration Pipe Labeling Guidelines from Graphic Products

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Ammonia refrigeration systems are complex and potentially dangerous. Graphic Products, the global leader in workplace labeling and signage, has developed a number of resources addressing these dangers and requirements for properly labeling pipe contents, flow direction and other information.

Ammonia Pipe Marking
The big difference between the previous revision... is that the new labels under the new guidelines are mostly orange while the old labels were mostly yellow.

On the heels of these resources is a 2014 guideline update from the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) which promotes education, information and industry standards for the safe and proper use of ammonia as a refrigerant. The big difference between the previous revision, published in 1991, and the 2014 update is that the new labels under the new guidelines are mostly orange while the old labels were mostly yellow.

The new recommendation also aligns with the suggested color scheme from ANSI/ASME A13.1, the single most common pipe marking standard. In the A13.1 standard, orange is for toxic materials (like anhydrous ammonia) while yellow is for flammable materials (like natural gas).

Anhydrous ammonia is commonly used as a refrigerant in food production, cold storage, wineries and breweries. Anhydrous ammonia refrigeration systems require pipe labeling as a matter of EPA and OSHA compliance. Constant relabeling is needed as companies grow and components need replacing. The ability to make labels continuously saves companies time and money vs. waiting for expensive outside suppliers. Anhydrous ammonia is considered a very high health risk that poses significant threat to those who work around it. It is corrosive to the skin, eyes, lungs, and can be deadly at elevated levels of exposure.

“Proper ammonia pipe marking is critical in facility safety and efficiency. Pipes containing ammonia require special designs. Graphic Products offers several industrial printers designed to print these labels for compliance and lasting performance in industrial settings,” said Steve Stephenson, Graphic Products.

Other ammonia-related resources include:

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Jack Rubinger
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