Luvata has been granted an exclusive license for Mitsubishi Materials’ lead-free GloBrass®
Press release, May 2, 2023
Luvata Oy (“Luvata”) has concluded a license agreement with its parent company Mitsubishi Materials Corporation (“MMC”), granting Luvata an exclusive license, in Europe and North America, for the patent and trademark rights of GloBrass®, a next-generation lead-free, free-cutting brass that complies with various lead-related regulations. Luvata is looking to grant non-exclusive sub-licenses to potential manufacturing companies in these markets.
GloBrass® is a lead-free (*1), free-cutting brass, with enhanced hot workability and an improved electrical conductivity, attracting a wide range of markets and applications including electrical and electronic components that require good electrical conductivity. This is accomplished by reviewing the composition of copper and zinc, while maintaining strength and machinability.
GloBrass® will contribute to a broad range of customers and industries in the global market. It is a great option to customers looking for a more environmentally friendly brass or developing new products that will benefit from its excellent cost effectiveness, electrical conductivity, and hot workability. GloBrass® is expected to be used in a wide range of automotive, electronic, and plumbing components.
As a lead-free brass, GloBrass® is very promising for faucet applications, for example. Currently, Luvata and MMC are in the process of registering GloBrass® as compliant with the EU drinking water regulation.
To establish a position as the global first company in environmentally friendly lead-free brass products, Luvata, together with MMC, will accelerate strategic initiatives, such as application development and marketing, in the European and North American markets.
Lead is hazardous to human beings and the environment. Use of materials containing harmful substances, such as lead, for electrical or electronic components and automotive components is prohibited by the RoHS Directive (*1) and ELV Directive (*2). However, copper alloys are temporarily exempted from such prohibitions and still allowed to contain up to 4% of lead.
The technical consultants of these Directives proposed to the European Commission to review these exemptions of the ELV Directive in 2025, and of the RoHS Directive in July 2026 respectively.
Since the consultants also indicated that the scope of the exemptions should be more specific and limited in the next review, the trend towards lead-free copper alloys is expected to accelerate in the European market.
MMC and Luvata are in the process of obtaining EN (*3) standards for GloBrass® in expectation of its market development in Europe. MMC and Luvata together will continue to promote various strategic initiatives of GloBrass®, including market development through licensing in accordance with the main objectives of the FRAND declaration (*4) under the EN standards.
*1. RoHS Directive
RoHS (Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in electrical equipment) Directive is an EU directive on the restriction of the use of certain substances in electrical and electronic equipment.
*2. ELV Directive
ELV (End-of-Life Vehicles) Directive is an EU directive to reduce the environmental impact of end-of-life vehicles.
EN is an abbreviation for the “European Norm”, which refers to technical standards used in the European Union (EU). EN standards are intended to promote technical uniformity and establish common standards among EU member states.
*4. FRAND declaration
FRAND is an abbreviation for "Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory” terms. Under such FRAND declaration, the holder of the patent rights related to the EN standard technology declares that such patents are available on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, and conditions.
Image: GloBrass® Brand Logo
Image: Product Examples - Faucet/ Automotive parts
Mitsubishi Materials Corporation - GloBrass Website
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