Improved lead-free brass products by optimization along the value chain (OptiBrass)
|Coordinator||RISE Research Institutes of Sweden AB|
|Funding from Vinnova||SEK 5 000 000|
|Project duration||October 2019 - April 2022|
|Venture||The strategic innovation programme for Metallic material|
Purpose and goal
The objective of OPTIBRASS was to develop conditions for production in lead-free brass with optimal properties at a competitive price by optimizing relevant steps in the value chain. Several larger industry trials show that it is possible to perform efficient production of components in lead-free brass at large scale, several of the companies are ready to introduce new lead-free products to the market. Understanding of the presence and absence of lead in brass can contribute to solve the remaining technical and economic obstacles before the transition to lead-free alloys.
Expected results and effects
OPTIBRASS has resulted in new leadfree products on the market with at least comparable properties as leaded alloys. The cost of leadfree products is higher, mainly due to higher material prices and manufacturing costs. The cost is minimized through adapted operations and appropriate machines. The Nordic industry will be prepared to adopt to the stricter legislation. A concern from the brass industry, is that the EU, will not consider the need for corrosion resistance under Nordic conditions. This will challenge a major part of the work performed within OPTIBRASS and previous projects.
Planned approach and implementation
The project work has been performed as a collaboration between 12 committed Nordic companies within the brass industry and 3 research organizations. The industrial experiments were mainly carried out by personnel from each company as visits and travel were restricted due to Covid-19. Exchange of experience between different companies would probably have been much better if more visits and meetings had been possible. In addition to the industrial trials, laboratory tests and theoretical studies have been performed order to improve product quality and mechanistic understanding.