Case studies / Friction
Where are we coming from? From Asbestos-based to NAO Copper-free
A joined effort among manufacturers, regulatory organizations and the automotive industry has brought a noticeable evolution on the composition of the friction materials
All machine in movement needs to be stopped at some moment. The brake is responsible to turn this kinetic energy into heat and release it through the interface.
This is the everlasting basis of the friction industry. Actually, during a normal braking, the disc is responsible to dissipate around 80 % of the heat generated by friction. The temperature can raise up to 600-700 ºC in rough conditions. As a result of the energy involved in this process, tribo-chemical reactions and erosion always take place.
The chemical composition of the brake PAD then, is directly related with the performance of the whole brake system.
Every time you stop your vehicle, a small amount of material is released in form of PM10 and PM2,5, small enough to be caught in air turbulence and easily enter human airways.
Depending on their composition, can be quite harmful to wildlife as they might contain metals such as copper, chromium, lead, antimony and metal oxides.
Considering that around 21% traffic-related PM10 emissions come from brake wear, automotive industry, raw material manufacturers and regulatory organizations have a shared responsibility to follow up dust emissions released during braking, and come up with innovative solutions to overcome this environmental threat.
At rimsa we were pioneers on manufacturing lead-free brass and bronze chips 20 years ago
On the other side, recyclability regulations in the latest 1990´s for vehicles in Europe (End-of-life directive 2000/53/EC) states a maximum content of metals such as Pb, Hg and Cr(VI) <0,1 %. and Cd <0.01 %. Friction materials were a source of Lead. It was common to use lead sulphide as lubricant and lead derivatives were regular contaminants in natural products such as pyrite (natural FeS2), sometimes up to 10%.
Since more than 20 years ago, our unique manufacturing process enables us to offer the OE’s choice of lead-free CHIPS with the best value-for-money.
Case studies / Friction
REACH changes its normativity on the labeling and SDS of brass containing Pb
As of January 5, 2021, manufacturers/distributors on the EU market of brake pads will not only to notify downstream customers of the presence of SVHCs but ECHA itself as well if it contains a whole contain > = 0.1 % Pb (SVHC)
Recycled brass chips & swarfs are produced during the mechanization of big brass pieces to obtain products such as decorative pieces, taps, balustrades, profiles etc.
These pieces must be machinable, otherwise it would be impossible to obtain the necessary shapes required on these fields. To do so, the standard alloy available in the industry contains 1 -3 % of Pb, as this metal improves its manufacturability.
So far, CLP considered that an alloy is considered a mixture, that, if it do not present any hazard to human health by inhalation, ingestion or contact with skin or the aquatic environmental in the form they are placed on the market, do not need CLP label.
What has changed is that lead, even in its massive form, as agreed in ATP09 at REACH Registration, if it is in a concentration 1-3 % it will contribute to the classification of the mixture with the following indications (which must be indicated on the label) :
At rimsa, we manufacture our own alloy on a unique completely dry process without including lead on the mixture
According to Law 8/2010, not labeling a product according to CLP (being aware of its dangers) is considered a serious offense, penalized with fines from 6.001 € to 85.000 €
Therefore, the alloy must be labeled with lead hazards and the SDS must be updated from June 2020, following the indications below:
- Our Brass chips are considered a MIXTURE, that contains lead, considered SVHC (Substances of Very High Concern).
- Brake PADS/Blocks/Linings are considered ARTICLES (products where shape, surface or design determines its function to a greater degree than does its chemical composition).
- As of January 5, 2021, manufacturers/distributors on the EU market of brake pads (articles) will not only have to notify downstream customers of the presence of SVHCs but ECHA itself if it contains a whole contain > = 0.1 % Pb (SVHC).
So, for those companies using the standard lead-containing brass in the industry, to avoid this new regulation, must remove this material from their formulations?
Obviously not, taking the lead from the mixture, all these companies will be able to continue using this fundamental product on so many formulations. But lead-free brass is not a standard on the industry and the well-known chopped lead-free brass wools become excessively expensive due to its manufacturing process
On the other hand, many other companies might consider to replace brass for a different material, and we want to be on their side too
Case studies / Friction
Different strategies to remove copper from existing formulations
What started many years ago in the political corridors in the US, has risen as a priority project for almost all material development laboratories across the globe
Being automotive such a globalized industry, a concern that has sprung up on a specific market, can quickly become into a worldwide trend if it is properly justified by a greater good.
A clear example of it can be seen on the friction industry. What started many years ago in Washington and California, when copper considered as main cause for the extinction of salmon and rainbow trout, due to its neurotoxic behaviour in fish , has become into a priority project for almost all material development laboratories across the globe. Nevertheless, even there are still some grey areas to clarify, it is clear that the main brake system & vehicle manufacturers are already requiring copper-free formulations.
Friction industry is going on this lead but that’s not an easy job, as not a single solution has emerged as direct replacement for this material with unique properties. Engineers and friction material formulators must come up with new strategies to replace this non-ferrous metal if they want to stay on the run.
We are glad that so many companies have been able to develop their own Copper-free materials by using rimsa’s enviroLube as their key additive. Why so?
Finally, other companies have opted to create new copper-free formulations either by reformulating an existing copper-containing mix or creating a new one.
The key point to achieve a balanced formulation goes through being able to create a stable transfer layer while protecting phenolic resin from degradation in order to protect the integrity of the whole friction material.
The high heat dissipation capacity of copper combined with its ability to create primary plateaus makes impossible to find a direct replacement. So, if there is not a harmonized solution, there’s at least a successful strategy to address this challenge?
At rimsa we dedicate all our efforts to ensure excellent quality in each of our products and services, guaranteeing the satisfaction of all customers.
We guarantee the highest quality standards
Having made the recycled product the base of our initial growth, our objective is to ensure that the raw material received and the intermediate product are properly analyzed and obey the specified parameters in order to guarantee a homogeneous final product, which complies not only with the specification, but ensure stable performance.
Regarding the products that we commercialize, the selection of suppliers is essential. From rimsa we guarantee compliance with the specifications before each shipment, with a specific control plan.
Characterized by an excellent Quality Management System