IIAR Continues Work Updating and Developing Standards

IIAR is known for its development of standards, and to date, IIAR has published nine ammonia standards and one CO2 standard. Per ANSI requirements, each standard must be updated at least every five years.

“In this past year, IIAR has updated its flagship IIAR-2 standard, and released a new CO2 standard,” said Gary Schrift, president of IIAR. “We also publish our standards in Spanish and this past year, four of IIAR’s 10 standards that were updated or created in English in recent years are now updated and published in Spanish, resulting in 9 of IIAR’s 10 standards updated in Spanish, with our most recent IIAR-2 2021 English update translation underway.” Don Faust, training manager for Johnson Controls, said two standards currently under public review are IIAR1 and IIAR-3.

‘IIAR-1 focuses on definitions. “It is interesting. We’re looking at how the industry defines terms,” Faust said. One definition that arose is that of liquids, which can be inert, combustible, or flammable. “We always had an OSHA definition of what a combustible liquid is and what a flammable liquid is. You have to handle them differently,” Faust said.

The definitions all changed in 2019, so what constitutes a flammable or combustible liquid is different now, and there is a worldwide organization, Global Harmonization System (GHS), trying to get everyone’s definitions together. “We’re keeping our standards up with global harmonization,” Faust said.

The IIAR-1 revision is out for public review and should be published by the end of the year. The other standard under revision is IIAR-3, which focuses on valves. “It is different from all of the other IIAR standards. It is a performance standard. We’re trying to have somebody who manufactures ammonia valves meet certain minimum criteria for how tight it is, how well it seals, flow rates and seals, ratings, traceability,” Faust said, adding that it is a significant revision. “That will help establish IIAR-3 as the standard for industrial ammonia refrigeration valves.”

IIAR is developing its hydrocarbon standard, which has not yet been put out for review. “We start addressing some of the safety issues around hydro – carbons,” Faust said. “It is a first for our industry. It is groundbreaking.” IIAR-2 underwent an extensive revision last year, and several Spanish standards were updated.

IIAR 6, which is inspection testing and maintenance of refrigeration systems, has been out for several years, but OSHA and EPA have not been issuing citations based on non-conformance with IIAR-6.

“At some point, they will end the grace period and start to enforce IIAR6. I want our members to be aware that just because you haven’t seen any fines for it doesn’t mean there won’t be any fines,” Faust said. “The expectation from regulators is that end users are incorporating this into their standards and inspections.”

Faust said IIAR-6, the inspection testing, and maintenance standard is the most groundbreaking for the industry. It took 10 years to write, and it wasn’t always popular with our membership. “OSHA said, ‘If you don’t write an ITM Standard for your industry, we’ll apply some other industry standards to yours. This gave us the drive to complete this Standard.

During the IIAR annual meeting and expo, Schrift reminded members that IIAR standards have been adopted in the U.S. by all major code bodies defer – ring to the IIAR standards for ammonia refrigeration systems, with adoption by the IFC, International Fire Code, being the most recent. In addition, four Latin American countries, India, China, and Singapore have adopted or are in the process of adopting the IIAR standards for their ammonia refrigeration systems. IIAR is always looking for volunteers who want to contribute and welcomes new members to the Standards Committee, which is the largest committee. “We have more than 120 contributing members,” Faust said. “We always want to hear what they think.”