Bendix applauds passage of state laws limiting copper in brake friction materials

Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC 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’s lineup of Bendix brand foundation drum brakes—available on a full range of OE models—currently meets the 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 2010, 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 2010. Similar legislation is underway 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 0.5%. Washington’s law is similar, with a 5% limit by 2021, and the establishment of an advisory committee to assess the feasibility of lowering the limit to 0.5% in subsequent years.

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. The association applauded the signing of California’s bill.

All Bendix foundation drum brake linings contain less than 5% copper, making them compliant to the 2021 requirement. The company’s drum brake lineup is also nearly 100% compliant with the more stringent 2025 copper restrictions. The majority of Bendix air disc brake systems contain less than 5% copper, making them 2021-compliant as well. Bendix is working to reduce the copper content in the small percentage of its disc brake systems that would not be compliant with the future 2021 regulation. Disc brakes are semi-metallic and pose a greater compliance challenge for all manufacturers.

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