Processes

RUVECO® lead removal

At AlfaTech we remove lead from brass components using the patented RUVECO® process.

It is a selective, effective and economical eco-friendly process that removes lead from brass, and can also be applied to parts that are already chrome plated, without altering the technical-aesthetic characteristics, making the parts compliant with the most restrictive European and international standards on lead contamination – including NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 (USA and Canada), AS/NZS 4020:2018 (Australia, New Zealand), EN 16889:2016 and Directive 98/83/EC (European Union) –, and the recent EU guidelines on safe drinking water (Council Conclusions on EU Human Rights Guidelines on Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, 17 June 2019).

Lead is essential for the machinability of brass, but harmful to human health already at concentrations above 10 µg/l.
Lead removal is an environmentally friendly chemical treatment that is selective with respect to lead and acts in the first 20 µm of the brass surface. Effective even on undercuts or complex geometries, it can be carried out either on a frame or a rotary barrel.
Lead removal is an effective and very cost-effective solution that avoids the need to use more expensive lead-free or low-lead alternatives to the materials normally used, modifying the production process or supply chain.

COATING FEATURES

  • Release of lead according to US test standard NSF 61 < 10 µg/l
  • Unaltered aesthetic appearance
  • No dimensional alteration of the part
  • Effective even on complex geometries
  • No change to finished parts (with nickel-chrome)
  • Prevents oxidation of the material
  • Frame treatment
  • Rotary barrel treatment

TREATABLE WEIGHTS AND MEASURES

  • Minimum dimensions: a few millimetres
  • Maximum cylinder dimensions: 1850 mm – ø 450 mm – weight 450 kg
  • Maximum dimensions of parallelepipeds: 1.850x450x1.300 mm

SECTORS OF APPLICATION

  • Food: professional coffee machines, vending machines (boiler cover, boiler flange, heating element flange, cap, bell, interface bushing, plate, double cone, block, heating element holder fitting, hand shower holder, nipples, boiler, group body, tap body, filter holder group, dispensing group, coupling ring, fitting, injector, cap, mushroom, level body, shutter, valve body, perforator ring, pick-up tube, hand shower holder, adapter, fitting, diffuser, sleeve, tube coupling, distributor, manifold, valve cap, pre-infusion chamber cap, injector fitting, gilgeur)
  • Plumbing Sector (fitting, boiler, heating element, distributor, deviator, by-pass body, hydraulic components, fittings for circular heat exchangers, thermostatic valves, ball valves, manual valves, mixing valves, meter boxes, volumetric meter, fitting, metering device, reducer, elbow, cap, reduction, sleeve, tee, curved fitting, straight fitting, compression fittings, hose barb, washer, manifold)
  • Taps and fittings

Download

In this section you can download the PDF for the specific process.

FAQ

What is RUVECO® lead removal?

Ruveco® is a chemical process (no current is used) to remove lead from the surface of brass and bronze, thanks to its selective nature. It can also be referred to as “unleading”.

Why should RUVECO® lead removal be carried out?

Brass, although low in lead, contaminates drinking water and foodstuffs (coffee, soft drinks,....) that come into contact with it. Lead is a contaminant that accumulates in the body and is toxic (especially to children), which is why the regulations in many countries have aligned with the WHO (World Health Organisation) guidelines.

When should RUVECO® lead removal be carried out?

After machining and any galvanic treatment (nickel chrome) and before assembly.

Will the part change colour?

This chemical (non-electrolytic) process does not change the final appearance, leaving the initial colour unchanged.

Will the chrome parts be damaged?

The Ruveco®Plus process does not affect or dull chrome surfaces.

Is it resistant to hot pressurised water or steam?

The Ruveco®Plus process selectively removes lead from the first 20µm of the surface it comes into contact with. Hot pressurised water or steam can “burrow” into the surface of brass, bringing untreated surfaces into contact with water. In these cases, we recommend the TEA+® treatment.

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