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Lead-Free Brass Alloys For The Production Of Cylindrical Parts Of Small Size Factor

84 2024. 5. 10.
Lead-Free Brass Alloys For The Production Of Cylindrical Parts Of Small Size Factor


A leading fast-moving consumer goods company that manufactures stationery products in the EU is looking for an alternative to the leaded brass currently used to produce small-size factor cylindrical parts for its products. The material should have a high machinability (eg microdrilling, microturning) and allow to achieve high production rates. 

The solution should be either a lead-free brass or/and Lead-free Nickel Silver alloy with specific properties to ensure long tool durability, easy chip fragmentation, and good surface finishing of the manufactured parts. It shall also comply with the current consumer product safety regulations (REACH, CPSIA, HSE) and not alter the chip recycling process. 

Stage of Development

TRL 3 - Proposal under development


Tested/ Discarded Solutions


The only solution currently available in the market is lead-free stainless steel. However, the widespread adoption of this material would expose our company to different risks, such as low productivity, increased cost, and supply difficulties such as shortages. 

Other experimental brass alloys with low lead content have been tested over the years, same as lead free brass alloys with added elements such as Bismuth, Indium, and Silicium. However, the results were unsatisfactory, namely, excessive tool wear, insufficient chip fragmentation, difficult-to-recycle chips, and poor production yields. 


Must Haves:Technical Requirements


  • Lead content <500ppm 
  • High machinability (eg microdrilling, microturning) 
  • Must allow long tool durability 
  • Easy chip evacuation 
  • Good surface finishing of the parts 
  • Material recyclability


Business Requirements:

  • High production rates 
  •  Material availability of at least 100Kg for the testing stage 
  •  Proven ability to scale up to FMCG production industry standards 
  •  Material cost comparable to current (< €15/kg) 
  •  Low impact on manufacturing flow 
  •  Low impact on recyclability procedures


Legal / Environmental 


  • Product marketable in EU and US 
  • REACH and CPSIA compliance
  •  EU HSE regulatory compliance


Nice To Haves


  • Lead content <100ppm 
  • Lightweight material
  • Cost-effective solution
  • Sustainable solution ( not aggressive chemistry, recyclability, low environmental impact , reduced waste generation) 

Technical Specification or Expertise Sought



Geography: Solutions sought from any geographic location, with emphasis on marketability in the EU and US. 


Development Phase: Targeting solutions beyond TRL 3, focusing on experimental proof of concept.


Company's Background And Insights: Our technology roadmap includes the progressive replacement of leaded brass with alternative solutions that do not require the presence of this element. Future regulations in the EU and US may enforce a significant reduction of the allowed lead content in consumer goods

Technology Keywords

2.7 Materials Technology
2.7.10 Metals and Alloys

Market Application Keywords

8.1.12 Speciality metals (including processes for working with metals)

Sector Group


Type and Size of Client


Type and Role of Partner Sought

Preferred partnership options include R&D contracts, joint development ventures, supply agreements, and patent sales. Upon validating and demonstrating the feasibility of the proposed solution, the parties may establish a contractual agreement to transfer technology usage rights to the company. 

Type of Partnership Considered

Commercial agreement with technical assistance
Joint venture agreement
Research cooperation agreement



Internal Reference




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