Since 2017, the company has maintained a research and development program focused on replacing metallic copper in brake pads for heavy vehicles.
The main challenge for removing copper is maintaining the good thermal, lubrication and wear resistance properties that the metal provides to brake pads, as copper is efficient in thermal dissipation and also reduces the formation of cracks in the discs.
In recent years, Frasle Mobility’s Research and Development Center has invested in the development of new raw materials and combinations that could compensate for the removal of copper from friction formulations.
With the success of the research, the company in 2019 launched its first copper-free products in the United States, creating the “Fras-le GRN TECH” seal.
The copper-free technology was initially aimed to meet the requirements of the North American market, which is strategic for Frasle Mobility’s exports.
The states of Washington and California were the protagonists of the legislation that limited the use of copper to a maximum of 5% beginning in 2021, with complete banning of the element beginning in 2025.
Alexandre Casaril, Frasle Mobility director of Research, Development and Innovation, explained these restrictions will most likely be adopted in other markets. Copper-free technology has already been requested by original-equipment-manufacturer customers in Europe and China.
To meet growing demand, said Casaril, the company has also been investing in expanding its production capacity for commercial tablets. In the last year, approximately $4 million was invested in a new production line at the Prattville, Ala. plant.
“Frasle Mobility will continue to invest in the coming years in the development and improvement of copper-free technology in all product lines, also benefiting other markets, such as Brazil and Latin America,” he added. “In addition to eliminating copper, the products have shown excellent durability results for discs and pads, a performance superior to our current technology, bringing even more value to our customers.
“The tests and analyzes show that we will have better and more sustainable products, which should strengthen our current business and also generate new business globally.”