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Synergy, innovation and international expertise: the key to success for a novel and low environmental impact brake system, financed by the prestigious Horizon2020 Programme.

Lowbrasys project, created by five of the most authoritative industrial automotive companies together with five of the most important research institutes and International universities, is a pioneering advanced research financed by European Commission Programme Horizon2020, aiming at accelerating research, development and demonstration of technologies allowing the efficient use of clean energies in road transport . The challenge is to develop new generation technologies, materials, advices and recommendations to policy makers to improve driving impact on health and environment through a new systematic, shared and global approach, to achieve a novel and low environmental impact brake system. Lowbrasys project comes from the collaboration between Brembo, 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. This project comes from the awareness that only a systematic approach could have a relevant and innovative impact on markets and citizen’s life. Prestigious EU Horizon2020 financed it with 7 million euro on 9 million of global commitment. Lowbrasys Project applies to “Mobility for growth” Call, which means to study new technologies for a low environmental impact mobility.

Lowbrasys proposal consists in creating both a new approach and a smart chain to develop and apply more efficient materials regarding particulate emissions and a smarter braking system. Moreover, the consortium will study new instruments to correct drivers behaviors with the aim to lower emissions.

Launched on September 2015, Lowbrasys project in the next 36 months will be developed by a multidisciplinary team of researchers and technicians of both automotive industry and academia to study and demonstrate a low environmental impact brake systems to reduce micro and nano particles emissions by 50%. This pre-industrial project will act on different areas: a strict process of reduction, prevention and simulation, testing, validation under real world conditions and recommendations to policy makers, to identify novel materials and braking systems which together with drivers’ optimal behavior will aim to reach a 50% reduction of particles.

This goal will only be achievable by a systematic and structured approach focused by the LOWBRASYS team on the following main targets and objectives:

  • Novel materials formulations of the brakes pad and disc in order to reduce the total particle emissions and have a low-environmental impact at the same time (more eco-friendly materials)
  • Innovation of environmental friendly braking strategies that optimizes vehicle braking action
  • Breakthrough technology for capturing particles near the source in order to further reduce emissions • System integration and testing of the novel pad, discs, components and control systems to be integrated in vehicles dashboard • Improvement of the measurement techniques and understanding of the brake effects
  • A complete study of best driving practices The Lowbrasys project will have a relevant impact in the EU area, as it would push innovation towards a cleaner and more efficient road transport. 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 breaking 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. For further information visit or contact the LOWBRASYS team at the following address This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 636592.

Kick-off meeting - September 2015, Stezzano (Italy):

Project - Partners

Brembo is the world leader in the design and manufacturing of high performance braking systems and components for cars, motorbikes and commercial vehicles, as well as other components for racing. Brembo develops and manufactures brake discs, calipers and pads, master cylinders, assembled and pre-bled brake modules and wheels; in Europe it’s the only one producing the entire brake system.

Brembo is the coordinator of the activities related to LOWBRASYS implementation. BREMBO is responsible for project management, exploitation and dissemination activities. BREMBO will be involved in development and realization of materials for discs, development of sampling strategy to avoid non-iso-kinetic sampling artefacts at dyno testing level, dynamometric testing and determination of real emission factors, smart braking dashboard and PM collection system.

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Continental is one of the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. Its division Chassis & Safety develops, among others, brake systems and contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection.

Continental's contribution to the project consists in developing new environmental friendly braking strategies (control system) that optimize the vehicle braking system and reduce particle emission.

Department of Industrial Engineering of the University of Trento
The Department of Industrial Engineering of the University of Trento (UniTn) performs research, training, and teaching in the fields of Mechanics, Mechatronics, Materials Engineering, Electronic-and Micro-electronics systems, Managerial Information Systems, and Optimization Methods and Models to support decision making. The research objectives of the Department regard the structure of materials; their features and applications; new materials and technologies; automation systems of processes and machineries; energy production and storage; the design and implementation of mechanical/electronic integrated devices, with specific functions in innovative applications; the optimization of products and processes.

The Department of Industrial Engineering is in charge for novel brake disc development, microstructural and tribological assessment of brake materials, microstructural, structural and chemical analyses of particulate matter.

Federal Mogul
The Federal-Mogul Friction Products GmbH is part of the global operated, listed automotive supplier Federal-Mogul Corporation headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, United States. At Bad Camberg approx. 100 employees develop and test high brake pads and other friction materials produced in European plants of Federal-Mogul.

The facility tests new brake and friction materials for performance and noise susceptibility, and monitors the quality of existing products as well, thereby guaranteeing the highest quality standards for both current and new generation products. This is done in close cooperation with the international automotive industry.
Federal Mogul will contribute to the development of novel material for pads and their prototyping.

Flame Spray Hungary Kft
Flame Spray Hungary Kft is a center of excellence (Aerospace qualified) for applications on Turbo Gas and Aeronautical components thanks to a complete range of Thermal Spray technologies, vacuum and argon furnaces for heat treatments, diffusion and slurry coatings, aluminizing, brazing, MIG welding.
Flame Spray Hungary is in charge for the realization of thick ceramic coatings by plasma spray technologies and, in particular, by High Velocity Oxygen Fuel (HVOF). Such coatings are expected to reduce wear and pollution, improve high temperature wear resistance and also thermal fatigue resistance of the braking system, while maintaining stable frictional properties.

Ford Research & Advanced Engineering Europe
The defining mission of Ford Research and Advanced Engineering (R&A) Europe is creating individual mobility solutions that go hand in hand with environmental and safety considerations. Most of the R&A team are located in the Ford Research & Innovation Centre (RIC) in Aachen, Germany which was founded in 1995 and is the only Ford Motor Company research location in the world outside of Detroit. Its workforce has grown to about 300 employees from over 25 nations around the globe. Environment and sustainability research is being done in areas as diverse as next generation diesel and gasoline engine development, alternative powertrains, as well as new materials and production processes. Safety, comfort and health aspects are being addressed in the areas of vehicle dynamics, chassis technologies, driver assistance and active safety systems including car-to-x communication, connected and autonomous vehicles, innovative lighting systems, as well as vehicle interior concepts.

During the project it will work on PM sampling strategy to avoid non-iso-kinetic sampling artefacts at vehicle level, quantification of airborne particulate emissions, investigation on the formation and contribution of UFP from braking, vehicle integration and validation under real world conditions, as well as exploitation strategy.

Joint Research Centre
As the Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre's mission is to provide EU policies with independent, evidence-based scientific and technical support throughout the whole policy cycle.

In LOWBRASYS, JRC will develop a new real-drive brake cycle for chassis dynamometer tests and provide guidance on legislation and policy recommendations.

The overall mission of the department of Machine Design is to develop excellent knowledge in the intersection of engineering, design and innovation. The tribology research is directed to modeling and simulation of friction, lubrication and wear, with a focus on system level effects as emissions, energy efficiency, material hygiene, sustainable components and industrial design.

During the project, the research group will focus on tribometer testing of UFP and emission factors, simulation of particulate emissions and wear of disc brakes, PM collection system testing.

IRCCS Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research
The IRCCS Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research is a privat, non-profit biomedical research organization, established in 1961, with three research units: Milan, Bergamo (Centro Anna Maria Astori), Ranica (Centro di Ricerche Cliniche per le Malattie Rare Aldo e Cele Daccò). The Institute’s main research headings are the battle against human diseases (cancer, cardiovascular, nervous, mental, kidney and rare diseases), the toxic effects of environmental contaminants and research on drug addiction. Within the Institute training activities involve laboratory technicians and graduate researchers with PhD programs. The Institute is also involved in dissemination of the results of basic and applied research to the general public.

The Department of Environmental Health Sciences will be responsible of the chemical characterization and phytotoxicity analysis of nanoparticles generated by braking systems. The Department of Biomedical Engineering will be involved in toxicity studies using human cell lines in vitro.

Nanotechnology Centre of VSB Technical University of Ostrava

Nanotechnology Centre (CNT) conducts R&D, analytical services for industry, and education at the bachelor’s, master’s and PhD levels.
The equipment of CNT enables focus on tasks related to theoretical and computational chemistry, as well as preparation and properties testing of nanomaterials and composites for newly developed pads.

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