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rimsa develops a new technology for the manufacture of advanced synthetic sulfides

During the last two years RIMSA has carried out a new research project (SULFPROP) that has allowed it to develop a novel and environmentally friendly technology that will allow it to manufacture advanced synthetic metal sulphides. The results of this project must allow obtaining phase mixtures with homogeneous distribution that will become solutions to some of the most relevant problems in the friction materials industry.

Metal sulfides play a critical role in friction materials, where they act as high-temperature solid lubricants. The sulfides present in the formulation decrease rotor wear on disc brakes. In general, metal sulphides in intermediate oxidation states demonstrate greater effectiveness over metal sulphides in complete oxidation states, therefore synthetic sulfides have better performance.

The most widely used sulfide is antimony trisulfide, however, and as a consequence of the toxicity of compounds that can form as residues, among them antimony trioxide, proven to be carcinogenic to humans, there has been a tendency in recent years to develop of new metal sulfides that can fulfill the same function that antimony trisulfide currently fulfills. Among these the most prominent is tin sulfide (SnS), although this is a product with a very high cost and very variable, due to the high% of Tin, whose price depends on the metal bag (LME), and which can be found Mainly only in source equipment applications, but not in replacement.

Various initiatives are being developed at the government level to make friction materials greener. A major effort is being made in the European Union to promote programs to reduce the level of emissions from in-service friction materials. These factors are producing a change in the traditional formulation of friction materials, towards the so-called hybrid materials. These materials seek to eliminate all those elements potentially dangerous for the environment or humans. These formulations try to avoid as far as possible the presence of metals, but also minimize the generation of waste.

Hence, the introduction of the results of the SULFPROP project as new formulations of metal sulfides of moderate cost and optimized benefits can represent an opportunity for the entire friction materials industry to reduce harmful emissions, on the one hand eliminating the presence of dangerous metals and on the other, increasing the wear resistance of the friction materials. This project has been carried out with the support of the Center for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI) and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), within the Operational Program for Intelligent Growth 2014-2020.