Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC today said it “applauds the recent state laws passed in California and Washington that reduce the amount of copper allowed in brake friction materials beginning in 2021.” The company noted that its Bendix brand of foundation drum brakes currently meet those new state mandates.
“We commend the lawmakers and the other parties involved who worked hard to bring the legislation to fruition,” said Walt Frankiewicz, president of Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake. “These laws address key environmental needs and, most importantly, bring greater attention to the commercial vehicles used on our nation’s roadways.”
In March of this year, Washington became the first state to pass legislation in an effort to protect its waterways from the runoff of toxic copper brake dust. California’s bill became law in September. Bendix noted that similar legislation is being pursued in Rhode Island and New York.
The California law mandates that brakes contain no more than 5% copper beginning in 2021. By 2025, the limit will be reduced to just 0.5%.
The Washington law is similar, with a 5% limit by 2021 but includes a provision for the establishment of an advisory committee to assess the feasibility of lowering the limit to 0.5%t in subsequent years, said Bendix..
Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake is a member of the Brake Manufacturers Council, an operating council of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA). MEMA, on behalf of the council, has helped to shape the copper debate and legislation, Bendix pointed out, noting the association also applauded the signing of California’s bill.
All Bendix foundation drum brake linings contain less than 5 percent copper, making them compliant to the 2021 requirement. Bendix’s drum brake lineup is also nearly 100% compliant with the more stringent 2025 copper restrictions, the company stated.
In addition, Bendix said the majority of its air disc brake offerings contain less than 5% copper, making them 2021-compliant as well. The company added that it is working to reduce the copper content in the small percentage of its disc brake products that would not be compliant to the future 2021 regulation. Disc brakes are semi-metallic and pose a greater compliance challenge for all manufacturers, the company noted.
“Bendix is committed to developing advanced technologies that meet the coming copper restrictions,” said Aaron Schwass, director, foundation brakes at Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake. “Our goal is to provide our customers with cost-effective solutions that comply with state laws, while improving brake service life and contributing to our mission of improving the safety of our highways.”