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Story 082 – 2014 – Innovation Quality

Brass can be quite fashionable

Innovative, pollutant-free alloys for the fashion industry

Wieland supplies special low-emission brass alloys for belt buckles, bag fasteners and fashionable accessories to renowned manufacturers of high-quality brand fashion. The material complies with even the strictest international consumer protection regulations.

On high quality handbags or belts you will often find metallic fasteners or buckles made of brass. Not least because the material has a high-quality feel and can be hot forged and then machined just as well. In the past, brass alloys therefore contained between 1.5 and 3 percent lead in order to ensure good machinability.

In the meantime, the permissible lead content in such products has been significantly reduced by legal regulations. The so-called "Jewellery Directive" of the EU REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Restriction of Chemicals) regulation limits the proportion of lead in jewellery and similar products to 0.05 percent. The regulations are even stricter in the USA. The Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSIA) now only permits lead content in consumer goods – including jewellery and fashion accessories – up to a maximum of 100 ppm (parts per million), which corresponds to 0.01 percent.

This was reason enough for Wieland to develop the new, virtually lead-free brass alloy M58 in 2014. With the composition CuZn42, the alloy has a maximum residual lead content of only 90 ppm and thus undercuts even the strict legal requirements in the USA. In addition, the material is free of questionable substances such as cadmium and bismuth. Above all, M58 can be forged and machined, polished and coated, for example with gold or palladium, despite its low lead content.

It is therefore no wonder that the Wieland innovation has established itself within a very short time with numerous internationally established brands as a primary material for jewellery, luxurious belt buckles and bag fasteners as well as for three-dimensional logos. The material is available in the form of round and rectangular rods, tubes, profiles and wires.

Most Wieland customers for M58 are located in Italy, France and Switzerland. Wieland also supplies them with wires made of the alloy M37 (CuZn37) with a lead content of less than 0.05 per cent for the production of chain links.

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Rods, tubes, profiles and wires

Ideal prerequisites for high-quality fashion: Semi-finished products made of the brass alloy Wieland M58 have high mechanical strength and can also be easily forged and machined.