Federal-Mogul Corporation's (NASDAQ: FDML) range of Eco-Friction(TM) low- and zero-copper brake pad formulations is experiencing rapid customer acceptance since first being introduced in 2012 for original equipment (OE) applications. The company announced today it has secured contracts with three global vehicle manufacturers to supply low- or zero-copper brake pads for light vehicle platforms beginning in model year 2014, resulting in more than one million vehicles equipped with Federal-Mogul Eco-Friction pads by 2015. Federal-Mogul is one of the first braking product manufacturers to supply low- and zero-copper pads to automakers.
A key ingredient in brake pad formulations, copper limits pad and rotor wear, noise, and judder, and contributes to friction stability over a range of operating temperatures. The metal makes up between 5 and 20 percent of the friction material mass in typical Non-Asbestos Organic (NAO) and Low-Steel formulations used throughout Europe, Asia and North America.
Recent legislation in certain U.S. states is mandating the eventual phase-out of copper from brake pads due to its adverse environmental impact, initially limiting content to less than 5% of total pad weight and eventually requiring less than 0.5%. As a result, vehicle manufacturers are now specifying brake systems with the regulated levels of copper, making alternative formulation like Eco-Friction the standard for new vehicles in markets throughout the world.
"The U.S. legislation is a key driver for global OEMs as they specify brake friction material for their products," said Martin Hendricks, vice president and general manager, braking, Federal-Mogul Vehicle Components segment. "Federal-Mogul's expertise in material formulations and manufacturing has enabled us to provide a solution that fits the requirements of each regional market. We are proud to be a leader in this technology and to supply Eco-Friction to our OE customers nearly 10 years ahead of the legislated deadlines."
Federal-Mogul's Eco-Friction range of low- and zero-copper formulations were developed using a tribological fingerprinting process to identify alternative materials that can provide the same stopping performance; noise, vibration and harshness characteristics; durability and low wheel dust generation as conventional copper pads. The Eco-Friction zero-copper pads also offer better corrosion protection of the brake rotor and increased static friction performance, which is especially beneficial in sloped parking situations.
Eco-Friction formulations were tested and validated using multiple OEM specifications and are compatible with electronic parking brakes, lighter brake calipers and electric vehicle braking systems.
Product engineering for Eco-Friction pads is conducted at Federal-Mogul's technical facilities in the U.S., Europe and Asia. The Eco-Friction pads are manufactured at several Federal-Mogul locations around the world. The company also presently offers low-copper brake pads to the automotive aftermarket, sold under the Ferodo® and Wagner® brands.