Machinable Leaded and Eco-Friendly Brass Alloys for High Performance Manufacturing Processes: A Critical Review, Metals 2022, 12, 246, https://doi.org/10.3390/met12020246
The recent environmental/health and safety regulations placed restrictions of use of hazardous substances on critical manufacturing sectors and consumers’ products. Brass alloys specifically face a challenging issue concerning the elimination of lead (Pb) which has been a critical element affecting both the machinability and overall quality and efficiency of their manufacturing process. The adaptation of novel materials and processing routes in the green economy constitutes a crucial decision for competitive business and industry growth as a worldwide perspective with substantial industrial and social impact. This paper aims to review the emergent innovative and sustainable material solutions in the manufacturing industry, in line with environmental regulations, by highlighting smart alloy design practices and promoting new and innovative approaches for material selection and manufacturing process optimization. In this review, we analyze the processing, structure and machinability aspects of leaded brasses and underline the major guidelines and research methodologies required to overcome this technical challenge and further improve the mechanical properties and machinability of lead-free brass alloys. Various alloying and processing strategies were reviewed together with the most important failure types, as they were extracted from the existing industrial and technological experience, covering more than 20 years of research in this field.