The components of the wheel brake differ substantially with respect to their recycling quotas. Disc and drum brakes as well as brake discs achieve over 90% recycling shares due to their high metal content. On the other hand, friction materials – disc brake pads, drum linings or industrial applications – are hardly ever recycled. Friction materials consist of various raw materials and are manufactured under pressure and temperature, both with and without metal attachments. This paper describes the life cycle of friction materials and the environmental pollution they cause during the respective raw material procurement, mix production and disposal phases. 1. The results of a comparative life cycle analysis (LCA) study according to ISO 14040 / 14044, including carbon footprint, assesses the impact of friction materials on the environment. Here, friction materials with partially recycled ingredients were compared to those consisting of 100% virgin materials. 2. Dynamometer test results, laboratory analyses as well as technical requirements and properties of recycled friction materials are explained. 3. Arguments regarding friction material recycling are discussed in the context of ecological, economic and social developments with respect to sustainability. 4. Friction material recycling potentials are presented in light of creating opportunities in a circular economy.
Mr. Fabian Fuhr, General Manager, RMS Raw Material Service GMBH & Co. KG