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AFS disagrees with UCLA Copper Alloy Research Report.

AFS refutes and challenges the incorrect conclusions of a newly released research report, "Lifecycle-Based Alternatives Analysis of Lead-Free Brass Substitutes in the Potable Water Supply System." The project, which was conducted by Peter Sinsheimer, executive director of the sustainable technology and policy program at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), studied no-lead alloys used for cast brass components in water applications.

AFS believes the study contains many inaccuracies in the data and methodologies and contests the report's conclusion that the use of copper bismuth alloys for potable water applications should be discontinued. Researchers incorrectly assumed scrap from alloy and component manufacturers cannot be recycled because it is a contaminant that cannot be separated from copper.

On the contrary, AFS members produce most of the metal castings used in water applications and have been successfully recycling bismuth alloys daily and returning them to the foundries in the form of new castings.

From the beginning of the UCLA project, AFS raised red flags about the study because it seemed to be focused on identifying a single best commercial alloy for all applications. The marketplace has already demonstrated that multiple alloys are required, and this assumption that there could be a single alloy solution continues to raise questions that undermine the study.

The 2011 Federal Safe Drinking Water Act requires that all cast copper components used in potable water applications contain less than 0.25 percent lead. No-lead alloys have been in the marketplace for more than two decades and multiple no-lead alloys already in-service meet and exceed government regulations, with even more new alloys in development. No single alloy will produce all the various components used in water systems, and unnecessarily narrowing the field of alloy choice will drastically limit the design and application options for municipalities and other casting users.

AFS strongly contests the technical findings in this study and urges the water works industry not to act on the report conclusions until reading the AFS technical report refuting the project.

AFS believes that the project has not sufficiently responded to metalcasting industry input, which is important, as it provides the expertise from those foundries most active in producing the type of components that the research is intended to address.

For more information, email Rich Jefferson, or Steve Robison,

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Title Annotation:AFS NEWS
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Aug 1, 2017
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