Bosch Copper-Free Brake Pads - Bosch

Bosch Now Offering Copper-Free Brake Pads

Company files for patent protection for this advanced technology product in North America and other key markets.


In response to legislation requiring the reduction of copper in brake friction formulations, Bosch has announced that it now offers copper-free material in its premium-grade QuietCast and other braking lines. In addition, the company says it has developed a proprietary copper-free ceramic friction formulation that incorporates renewable materials to make its product even more environmentally friendly.

“Our new copper-free material was developed over several years and has undergone various endurance tests,” said Robert Backode, director of product management, Bosch Brake Components LLC. “Much like the copper-free alloy used to replace copper in the aerospace industry, this material too, has proven to be successful in automotive use, ensuring high strength and lightweight. Test data of the new copper-free material confirms improved performance over copper-based materials.”

According to Bosch, the new design and technology behind this new Bosch proprietary copper-free ceramic brake friction formulation are significant industry developments. As a result, Bosch has filed for patent protection in North America and other key markets.

The automotive industry’s shift to low-copper content in braking products is a result of legislation passed in the states of California and Washington in 2010 that requires reduction in the use of copper to below five percent by 2021 (low copper) and less than .5 percent by 2025 (no copper). This legislation is based on the grounds that each time a motorist applies the brakes, a bit of copper and other metals get deposited on the road; and when it rains, those metals are washed into nearby streams and rivers – eventually harming aquatic life. Similar legislation has been introduced in Rhode Island, Oregon and New York.

Industry leaders and legislators recently signed an MOU to take these state standards national. Click here to read about it.

The changeover to copper-free brake pads is currently in process at Bosch, with a gradual rollout of more and more copper-free products. In fact, the company says many of the Bosch semi-metallic formulas, as well as the new ceramic formulation, already meet the 2025 no copper requirement. The company expects its entire braking portfolio to be compliant with the 2025 guideline years before it’s required.

To clearly indicate the level of copper in its QuietCast Brake Pads, Bosch began rolling out updated packaging on Jan. 1 that will include the industry standard “LeafMark.” The LeafMark is comprised of a three-leaf cluster with one, two, or all three leaves filled in to indicate the level of legislative compliance:

· One leaf: Level A – limits levels of asbestos, cadmium, chromium, lead and mercury
· Two leaves: Level B – includes all the requirements of Level A and copper levels must be less than 5 percent by weight
· Three leaves: Level N – includes all the requirements of Level A and copper levels must be less than 0.5 percent by weight

Bosch QuietCast Disc Brake Pads are engineered to match braking performance and efficiency precisely to the needs of different types and sizes of vehicles.

“We carefully select friction formulations to provide the blend of materials best-suited to each vehicle and those that assure quiet, reliable and long-lived braking on all types of vehicles, from subcompacts to large SUVs,” said Backode.

“Further,” he added, “dedicated engineers source and rigorously test the materials and formulations to ensure that the final product meets the highest quality standards.”

For more information on Bosch braking components, visit

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