ASHRAE Technical Committee 3.4

Scope of TC 3.4

TC 3.4 is concerned with all functions and interactions of lubrication in a refrigerant system, including physical and thermodynamic properties of refrigerant lubricant systems, all issues relating to the circulation of lubricants in a refrigerant system, and other lubrication concerns.


The ASHRAE Handbook is published in a series of four volumes, one of which is revised each year, ensuring that no volume is older than four years.

Refrigeration: Lubricants in Refrigerant Systems

The primary function of a lubricant is to reduce friction and minimize wear. It achieves this by interposing a film between moving surfaces that reduces direct solid-to-solid contact or lowers the coefficient of friction. Understanding the role of a lubricant requires analysis of the surfaces to be lubricated. Although bearing surfaces and other machined parts may appear and feel smooth, close examination reveals microscopic peaks (asperities) and valleys. Lubricant, in sufficient amounts, creates a layer thicker than the maximum height of the mating asperities, so that moving parts ride on a lubricant cushion.

The ASHRAE REFRIGERATION HANDBOOK may be purchased from the on-line bookstore by clicking on the highlighted text.

Subcommittee meetings will restart in 2019.  Subcommittee Chair - Casey Scruggs.

Comment on the Handbook: ASHRAE welcomes your comments on the Handbook or a specific Handbook chapter.  To submit a comment about any aspect or part of the Handbook series, you can use the Handbook Comment Form.

Review a Handbook Chapter: To provide your feedback about a specific Handbook chapter, you can answer the brief survey questions on the Handbook Chapter Review Form.


Technical committees develop and sponsor technical sessions at the winter and annual conferences. Information about their future technical program is discussed at each TC meeting and at the TC’s Program Subcommittee meeting.

ASHRAE publishes papers and transactions from presentations at its conference events. In addition, ASHRAE records most of the seminar sessions from its conferences on DVD. These DVDs are ideal for use at chapter meetings, in university courses, or company lunch and learns. Products available from the most recent conference may be found here.

Seminar 7: Critical Mobile Food Refrigeration Systems Using Low-GWP Refrigerants TC10.6

Sunday, January 13 9:45 AM–10:45 AM Location: GWCC, 3rd Floor, Building A, A302
Seminar 12: Life After R-404A – TC 10.7
Sunday, January 13 11:00 AM–12:30 PM Location: GWCC, 3rd Floor,Building A, A305
Seminar 23: Advances in Low-GWP Refrigeration System Architectures TC10.7 & 8.1
Monday, January 14 8:00 AM–9:30 AM Location: GWCC, 4th Floor, Building A, A410
Seminar 33: Low GWP Refrigerants: Components and System Designs TC 8.4/3.1/8.1
Monday, January 14 11:00 AM–12:00 PM Location: GWCC, 3rd Floor, Building B, B313a
Seminar 40: Update on Global Policies and Programs for Best Use of Refrigerants TC 7.3 Monday,
January 14 2:15 PM–3:45 PM Location: GWCC, 3rd Floor, Building B, B313b
Seminar 46: Refrigerant Flammability Fundamentals TC 3.1
Tuesday, January 15 8:00 AM–9:30 AM Location: GWCC, 3rd Floor, Building A, A302
Seminar 51: Ground-Source Heat Pumps Using Carbon Dioxide
Tuesday, January 15 9:45 AM–10:45 AM Location: GWCC, 4th Floor, Building A, A404
Seminar 54: Chemistry of New and Retrofit Systems with Low GWP Refrigerants – TC 3.2 & Low GWP MTG
Tuesday, January 15 11:00 AM–12:30 PM


Technical Committees are responsible for identifying research topics, proposing research projects, selecting bidders, and monitoring research projects funded by ASHRAE. Information about their specific research program is discussed at each TC meeting and at the TC’s Research Subcommittee meeting.

RTAR 1728 “Development of a Model for Prediction of Oil/Refrigerant Mixture Properties of Low GWP Refrigerants and Synthetic Oils” – Steve Kujak
RP 1721 – “Oil Return and Retention in Unitary Split Systems Gas Lines with HFC and HFO Refrigerants – Chris Seeton
RP1785 “Effect of Oil Refr Mixtures on microchannel heat exchanger performance” – Scott Wujek

Proposed RTAR
Draft: Tribological interaction data with lubricants and refrigerants - Elyse Sorenson assisted by Scott Wujek, Greg Smith and Brad Boggess
Draft “Foaming Properties of Low GWP Refrigerant and Oil Mixtures” – Ivan Rydkin and Julie Majurin

Long term research plan:
 Preferential solubility of High Glide Blends in Lubricants – Safety and Performance – Oliver Newton
 Electrical Properties of Lubricant-Refrigerant mixtures TC 8.1
 Understanding the influence of refrigerant and lubricant chemistry on pressure- viscosity coefficients.
 Retrofit considerations when changing refrigerants


ASHRAE writes standards for the purpose of establishing consensus for: 1) methods of test for use in commerce and 2) performance criteria for use as facilitators with which to guide the industry. ASHRAE publishes the following three types of voluntary consensus standards: Method of Measurement or Test (MOT), Standard Design and Standard Practice. ASHRAE does not write rating standards unless a suitable rating standard will not otherwise be available. ASHRAE is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and follows ANSI's requirements for due process and standards development. Standards may be purchased at the ASHRAE Bookstore.

TC 3.4 is cognizant for these standards.

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 86: Methods of Testing the Floc Point of Refrigeration Grade Oils

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 99: Refrigeration Oil Description

Proposed Standard 172: Method of Test for Insoluble Materials in Synthetic Lubricants and HFC Refrigerant Systems

Proposed Standard 218P: Method of Test for Lubricant and Refrigerant Miscibility Determination

Other Activities

TIP: If MTG involvement add here otherwise leave blank.

TC 3.4 participates on the following multidisciplinary tsk group:
Lower Global Warming Potential Alternative Refrigerants

MTG.Low GWP is established to coordinate TC/TG/TRG technical activities to help transition the HVAC&R industry to sustainable lower Global Warming Potential (GWP) alternative refrigerants. The MTG will further request participation from US EPA and AHRI. The MTG responsibilities include suggestions for research, development and presentation of technical programs of all types on alternative lower GWP refrigerants, suggestions for Life Cycle Climate Performance (LCCP) systems evaluation for different applications, development of lower GWP solutions for different applications, and a special publication detailing aspects of LCCP applied to the HVAC&R fields.


ASHRAE Technical FAQs are provided as a service to ASHRAE members, users of ASHRAE publications, and the general public. While every effort has been made to ensure their accuracy and reliability, they are advisory and provided for informational purposes only, and in many cases represent only one person’s view. They are not intended and should not be relied on as an official statement of ASHRAE. Technical questions not addressed may be submitted to the ASHRAE Technical Services department at

What information is available on the compatibility of lubricants with refrigerants? (86)