Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


LOWBRASYS Report Summary

Project ID: 636592
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - LOWBRASYS (a LOW environmental impact BRAke SYStem)

Reporting period: 2015-09-01 to 2017-02-28

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Airborne particulate matter (PM) influences air quality and it consists of chemical compounds suspended in the atmosphere as aerosols. In the road sector PM is a consequence of exhaust emissions and some friction processes like braking and tyre-road contact. Brake wear is estimated to contribute approximately 16-55% by mass to non-exhaust emissions in urban locations (Grigoratos and Martini, 2014).
The LOWBRASYS project aims at: i) demonstrating a novel and low environmental impact brake system that will reduce micro and nanoparticles emissions coming from the vehicle braking action by at least 50%; ii) measuring and understanding of micrometer-sized and ultrafine particles and their effects on health and the environment will be improved; iii) providing recommendations to policy makers.
This goal will only be achievable by a systematic and structured approach focused by the LOWBRASYS team on the following targets:
1. Novel materials formulations of the brakes pad and disc in order to reduce the total particle emissions and have a low-environmental impact.
2. Innovation of environmental friendly braking strategies (control systems) that reduce PM emissions.
3. Breakthrough technology for collection of particles near the PM source in order to further dramatically reduce PM emissions.
5. System integration of the novel pad, components and control systems in vehicles.
6. Improvement of the measurement techniques and understanding of the brake wear PM effects on health and the environment through state-of-the-art non-in-vivo techniques and related policy recommendations.

Lowbrasys project comes from the collaboration between Brembo (coordinator), Ford, Continental Teves, Federal Mogul, Flame Spray, together with Mario Negri Institute, Technical University of Ostrava, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Trento University and EC Joint Research Centre.
The project will have a relevant impact in the EU area, as it would push innovation towards a cleaner and more efficient road transport, improving air quality with positive effects on both environment and human life. It will also contribute to bridge the transition to zero emission vehicles in urban agglomerations, improve urban air quality in the midterm, contribute to 'Super Low Emission Vehicles' standards and in understanding fundamental braking processes in order to be environmentally more efficient. A global and relevant project which testifies European companies to be outstanding advanced and applied research centers themselves, working on both industrializing its output and being relevant for an organized and research based legislation.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

From M1 to M18 the partners worked on the main following targets and objectives:
1- Novel materials formulations of the brakes pad and disc: The partners worked on the formulation of 5 novel brake pads, and the development of 5 novel brake discs. Numerical simulations at the mesoscale level were also performed.
2- Innovation of environmental friendly braking strategies: The consortium defined the concepts for dynamic assisted braking strategies and the human-machine interface smart dashboard is under development.
3- Breakthrough technology for capturing particles near the PM source – i.e., the brake system: The project focused on the ranking of several concepts with the aim to capture particles one they are generated. The partners are currently developing the best concept into a prototype and its testing in simplified conditions.
4- System integration and testing: Activities were dedicated to the ranking at the pin-on-disc level of 7 tribo-couples, testing at the dynamometric level of the reference material, the most promising one and 3 others. Another task was also focused on the design of the 2nd Lowbrasys inertia dynamometric bench. The partners also agreed a first proposal on how to equip the demo-vehicle with particle measurement instruments.
5- Improvement of the measurement techniques and understanding of the brake wear PM effects on health and the environment: The methodology on how to analyze collected particles and tribo-layers was defined. The first eco toxicological test focusing in particular on effects on green algae was realized.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The LOWBRASYS project promises a radical step forward in the European automotive sector, by designing, developing, testing and validating an innovative braking system able to drastically reduce the PM emissions (target at least 50%, in number and mass) while improving its performance, durability and reliability. The proposed LOWBRASYS solution will bring relevant impacts at different levels, the main ones being:
- Innovation and Advance of Knowledge: the LOWBRASYS integrated braking system is the sum of a set of innovative components, materials, control systems, etc., as a result of a concerted collaboration among major players of the EU automotive industry. Important advancements will be achieved in extremely important knowledge areas related to: the braking system and the way PM are generated and propagated (i.e. tribology); material science (e.g. coatings, disc and friction materials, etc.), with particular focus on combined effects at different levels (from single component to final braking system on vehicles); better understanding on the effects on human health of very complex phenomena at micro and nano -scale (i.e UFP). The innovations and advance of knowledge brought by the project can be also used for future applications in the automotive sector and beyond.
- Market & Competitiveness: LOWBRASYS aims at bringing to high level jobs, green growth and social progress. The novel system will contribute to the strengthening of the competitiveness and growth of EU companies by developing innovations meeting the needs of EU and global markets, and by delivering the LOWBRASYS innovation to the market with a coherent strategy led by prime industrial actors in the sector (part of the LOWBRASYS Team). The project will be able to substantially advance the level of competitiveness of the partners and the EU automotive industry in all the value chain (component manufacturers, materials developers, technology providers, car manufacturers, etc.). In terms of future market scenarios this means that the EU industry will be able to maintain and improve production of high-level content products in EU and eventually reclaim part of production from other competing Regions (especially Asia).
- Health: the substantial reduction of emission of PM in mass and numbers will translate into massive reduction of impact on human health with related socio-economic benefits for EU society ;
- Environment: improve air quality (lowering PM emissions), ecosystem impacts, waste avoiding, resource efficiency.
- Policies and Directives: LOWBRASYS technology is candidate to become Best Available Technology (BAT) and serve as a basis to support preparation of robust measurement standards and Legislations on non-exhaust PM emissions (where no current legislation is currently applicable). Moreover, is expected that the project will contribute to bridge the transition to zero emission vehicles in urban agglomerations, as well as to 'Super Low Emission Vehicles' standards towards lower PM-emissions and understanding of fundamental processes affecting break wear particle formation, including UFP.

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