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BIA-Brukerstyrt innovasjonsarena

FUture Sustainable MAterial for Couplings - FUSMA

Alternative title: Fremtidig bærekraft Materiale for koblinger - FUSMA

Awarded: NOK 16.0 mill.

Project Number:


Project Period:

2024 - 2027

Funding received from:


Subject Fields:

Kongsberg Automotive manufactures couplings for air and liquid systems in the automotive industry. Today, the components are, depending on the application, mainly made of brass or plastic. It is important to maintain a high productivity to keep the production in Norway, and this requires a high level of knowledge about the properties of the material and the production process. The knowledge of today's material has been built up over decades, but the brass currently in use contains lead. This is not healthy for the environment, and in addition, the EU will regulate the permitted content of lead in brass from 2028. It is therefore important to increase the speed of development of a new material that complies with the new regulations, at the same time as it can provide new opportunities for increased flexibility in the material choices according to customer requirements. The lead-containing brass of today delivers good corrosion properties, mechanical properties and machinability. The project will investigate which materials can replace the current brass, while focusing on any advantages the new material have over today's material. The choice of materials will be done with an open mind, where several options will be considered to be flexible in different material combinations. The most promising materials will be brass, aluminum and steel, but without additions of unwanted alloying elements. One of the main challenges with the material chosen will be its corrosion resistance. The connectors will be used in highly corrosive environments and in safety-critical components. It is therefore important to have very good resistance to galvanic corrosion, and to use the knowledge gained by the project partners to reduce the possibility of galvanic corrosion and thus breakage of the components.

The automotive sector is undergoing significant changes to meet restrictions and demands from EU regulatory bodies as well as the EU taxonomy. New EU regulations (ECHA 2022) implies that lead will be banned from brass alloys from 2028, in addition the automotive sector is undergoing large changes to meet demand for cuts in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions as well as call for circular material flows. Couplings for the automotive sector are today dominantly machined from lead-containing brass alloys, since brass is easy to machine, gives high productivity and the pursued product quality. Kongsberg Automotive (KA) is designing and manufacturing air-brake and fluid couplings from brass, and to stay competitive they need to develop innovative couplings solutions which, in addition to having the same or improved properties with respect to performance, also are lead-free, and responds to future demands related to sustainability. In addition, the new lead-free solutions needs to give the desired product properties with high performance over very long time with no leaks, corrosion, fatigue, or wear problems as well as corresponding with high productivity. Hence, the primary objective of the FUSMA project is to develop lead-free, low weight, low cost air-brake and fluid automotive couplings with the desired performance for the automotive markets. The parts need to meet demands on sustainability and circular material flows. This will lay the foundation for KA to perform in a competitive market and increase their market shares. Raufoss Aluminium (RA) will in this project work towards solutions which will increase their supply to the automotive market of extruded aluminium profiles. The realization of the innovation requires intensive research effort from the industrial partners and the complementary research effort from the research partner.

Funding scheme:

BIA-Brukerstyrt innovasjonsarena