Supplier of OE quality brake pads and drums for commercial vehicles, and BRECK brand of brakes for passenger vehicles, Lumag has confirmed that efforts are currently being made to replace copper using novel conducting rock-fibres and thermographite.
In line with a US initiative to reduce the use of copper and other materials in motor vehicle brake pads, Lumag is looking to reduce copper use to less than five per cent by 2021, with 2026 earmarked for less than 0.5 per cent copper usage.
An agreement was signed in 2015 in the USA by automotive representatives, state officials and environmental agencies to reduce to copper in brake pads to <5% (by weight) by 2021, and 0.5 per cent by 2025.
In addition to copper, this voluntary initiative reduces mercury, lead, cadmium, asbestiform fibres, and chromium-six salts in motor vehicle brake pads.
The initiative was put in place to decrease runoff of these materials from roads into streams, rivers, and lakes. Copper from water runoff can have a detrimental effect on fish, amphibians, invertebrates, and plant life.
Setting a new standard, and opening a worldwide debate on the use of such material, there is no doubt that the development of copper-free eco-friendly brake-friction material is one area of change that will significantly impact future brake development.
Colin Smit, Lumag UK managing director, said: “As a leading part supplier we have a responsibility to minimise our impact upon the environment.
“For some time now, we have been looking into alternative materials to replace copper and will continue to forge ahead in creating OE quality brake parts that meet these requirements without compromising on quality, performance or parts longevity.”
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