Freon evaporating out of cans?

roser601

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#1
I have been arguing with my cousin about an experience he had and is adamant about why it happened.
He had bought several 14 oz cans of r-12 (24 to be exact) before the price went up in the early 90’s and stored them outdoors in his metal building for 6 years.
When he needed to use a couple of cans he discovered that all the cans were empty.
He swears up and down that there was no rust on the cans and no holes.
His explanation was that the r-12 had evaporated out of the cans. I told him that this was impossible but he was adamant and nothing I said would change his mind—-please tell me that I am not wrong, because his explanation seems to be not feasable!
 

billr

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#2
I don't think you are wrong, the R12 should not have leaked out. Were these cans with a metal seal/cap that has to be pierced with the tapping valve? One possibility, though, is that manufacturers were trying to get rid of all existing stock and were pushing out product with less than optimal quality control on the canning process.
 

grcauto

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#3
To store these cans you want to be sure that they are not changing temperatures much. If they are exposed to changing temperatures the resulting expansion and contraction of the metal will eventually cause the seal to leak and it will not take long to empty out once that happens.
 
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#5
The old "freon" R-12 becomes a deadly nerve gas if it is exposed to a flame. But...not much R-12 around anymore.
 

billr

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#8
Did you catch the part about "exposed to flame"? It has to get up above 480F, much hotter than my garage. R-12 is generally considered non-toxic and non-flammable. Take a peek at the MSDS for it