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Substitution of Lead and Heavy Metals in Brass and Other Metal Alloys

Do you have products with brass or other alloys containing lead? RISE has extensive experience in helping companies replace lead and other heavy metals. Our experts will help you to identify suitable alternatives, adapt your production processes, and evaluate the properties and corrosion resistance of the lead-free products.

Lead is traditionally included as a brass alloying element and provides favourable properties for machining and casting. Many components that come into contact with drinking water, such as water taps, fixtures and couplings, are made of brass. For these products, it will be necessary to phase out lead in the near future owing to stricter limit values for lead in the revised EU Drinking Water Directive.

In the past, lead was also widely used in various types of corrosion protection products, due to its very good corrosion properties.

Expertise in brass and corrosion protection

RISE has extensive experience and knowledge of both brass and corrosion protection, as well as production technology and materials technology, which are necessary to be able to offer assistance at all stages. Phasing out lead from brass is complex and necessitates modifications to the entire value chain from molten metal to the finished product, as well as for verifying the properties of the finished product. RISE has carried out comprehensive work to map and optimise process steps in order to obtain lead-free brass products with the desired properties.  

Regarding corrosion, RISE evaluates corrosion protection by means of accelerated tests as well as in field stations to assess durability and service life, for example. This can be very helpful when you need to replace corrosion protection or surface finishing in order to phase out the use of toxic or environmentally hazardous substances or otherwise introduce more sustainable alternatives. Another important element of our work is the characterisation of corroded surfaces and corrosion products using sophisticated modern technologies, such as microscopy, spectroscopy and electrochemical measurement methods.  

RISE’s offer

  • RISE can assist your transition to lead-free brass alloys. We help you identify suitable alternative alloys and assist with the modification of production processes and evaluation of the properties and corrosion resistance of lead-free products.
  • RISE provides guidance when choosing corrosion protection based on the prevailing conditions. We perform everything from short, accelerated tests to prolonged exposure tests in a real-world environment in our field stations. We analyse products and carry out various forms of quality control in accordance with current standards or proprietary methods based on existing needs.

Contact us for more information on how RISE canhttps://www.ri.se/en/centre-chemical-substitution help your company to phase out lead and other heavy metals from your products.

More information

Substitution means that you:

  • Replace a hazardous substance with one that is less hazardous
  • Switch to a different material
  • Or find a completely new solution so that a hazardous substance is no longer needed, for example, by changing the design or process

Contact the Swedish Centre for Chemical Substitution for more information and guidance on phasing out hazardous chemicals in products and processes.

Charlotta Obitz

Contact person

Charlotta Obitz

Seniorforskare

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