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Leverkusen/Luxemburg- Braking materials specialist TMD Friction was awarded the first homologation for the application of copper-free friction materials in the original equipment of high-performance vehicles. This breakthrough in the friction material world was achieved in an intensive development period and tight cooperation with a German vehicle manufacturer. In a first step, the homologation is granted for the front axle of the new vehicle with its market launch in Autumn 2013. Such a ground-breaking decision of a premium automotive producer underlines the compliance of the new copper-free friction pad with most demanding requirements for brake pads. Other car manufacturers are currently testing TMD Friction's copper-free material. Further homologations are expected within 2013.
„The challenge when developing this new kind of friction couple is finding an adequate replacement for copper with its positive physical and chemical characteristics. Potential substances like gold, silver, aluminum, nickel or lead were out of question either for cost or toxicological reasons," explained Andrew Dilnot, Senior Vice President Research & Development. „In tight cooperation and intensive development work with the vehicle manufacturer we have achieved to create an equivalent formulation concocted from various raw materials and alloys, an appropriate surrogate for copper with respect to friction coefficient, wear and thermal properties." Now TMD can supply a copper-free OE brake pad making no consessions regarding comfort or safety while already complying with the new legislation requirements of the US state Washington for the year 2021.
„International vehicle sales based on global platform strategies are also pushing technological change in Europe. Further, European automotive manufacturers plan to exclusively offer brake systems with copper-free braking material worldwide," Andrew Dilnot explained. „As a technology partner of the vehicle industry, TMD Friction continiually investigates new scientific achievements and raw materials to weigh up the pros and cons of various possible substitutes suitable for a copper-free friction material technology. Now we are proud to be the first manufacturer of copper-free, high-performance braking materials and to be able to offer a friction product which, apart from meeting the most demanding performance specifications of a premium producer, complies already today with all future environmental requirements."