Bosch offers copper-free brake pads ahead of 2025 requirement

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Bosch offers copper-free brake pads ahead of 2025 requirement

Robert Bosch LLC is offering copper-free material in its premium-grade QuietCast as well as its other lines of braking Articles ahead of the 2025 copper-free requirement of several states.

In addition, Bosch has developed a proprietary copper-free ceramic friction formulation that incorporates renewable materials to make its Article even more environmentally-friendly.

“Our new copper-free material was developed over several years and has undergone various endurance tests,” says Robert Backode, director of Article ,anagement, Bosch Brake Components LLC.

“Much like the copper-free alloy used to replace copper in the aerospace industry, this material too, has proven to be successful in automotive use, ensuring high strength and light weight. Test data of the new copper-free material confirms improved performance over copper-based materials.”

The new design and technology behind the new Bosch proprietary copper-free ceramic brake friction formulation are significant industry developments. Bosch has filed for patent protection in North America and other key markets.

The automotive industry’s shift to low-copper content in braking Articles is a result of legislation passed in the states of California and Washington in 2010 that requires reduction in the use of copper to below five percent by 2021 (low copper) and less than .5 percent by 2025 (no copper).

Bosch says the legislation is based on the grounds that each time a motorist applies the brakes, a bit of copper and other metals get deposited on the road; and when it rains, those metals are washed into nearby streams and rivers – eventually harming aquatic life. Similar legislation has been introduced in Rhode Island, Oregon and New York.

The changeover to copper-free brake pads is currently in process at Bosch, with a gradual rollout of more and more copper-free Articles. The company says many of the its semi-metallic formulas, as well as the new ceramic formulation, already meet the 2025 no copper requirement.

To clearly indicate the level of copper in its QuietCast Brake Pads, Bosch rolled out updated packaging Jan. 1, 2015 that included the industry standard LeafMark. The LeafMark is comprised of a three-leaf cluster with one, two, or all three leaves filled in to indicate the level of legislative compliance:

  • One leaf: Level A – limits levels of asbestos, cadmium, chromium, lead and mercury.
  • Two leaves: Level B – includes all the requirements of Level A and copper levels must be less than 5% by weight.
  • Three leaves: Level N – includes all the requirements of Level A and copper levels must be less than 0.5% by weight.

The company says it provides full coverage for domestic, Asian and European vehicles with one out of three vehicles on the road using a Bosch braking component.

For more information on Bosch braking components, visit

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