Revised Material Class List (M2.00)
On August 21, 2019, the IEC 62474 Material Class List (MCL) was updated to version M2.00. This was a major revision to the MCL, including the material class categories and the download format. There are now only two levels of material class categories (versus the three in the initial version of the MCL).
This is the first update to the MCL since it was initially published in 2012. The original MCL was kept to relatively broad material classifications to make it easier for manufacturers and suppliers to classify the materials in their products. But the downside was that it didn’t provide enough information to contribute real business value in conducting environmental assessments such as LCA, recyclability analysis or other circular economy objectives. In the revised MCL, the number of material classes has been expanded to better identify material classifications for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and material recycling streams.
The revised MCL includes three levels of material class identification. The first level (Cat1) distinguishes between inorganic materials, organic materials and materials for product operation. The second level (Cat2) identifies a general category of material (such as steels and ferrous materials) and the third level (the Material Class) provides enough specificity for LCA or to identify the applicable recycling stream (such as PolyEthylene (PE) which has material class ID = M-201).
Given that fillers can have a significant impact on the recycling opportunity for thermoplastics, Thermoplastics are subdivided at level 2 between Unfilled Thermoplastics resin (M-20) and Filled Thermoplastics resin (M-25).
Every level 2 material category in the MCL is assigned a two-digit MC code (e.g. M-10 for steels and ferrous materials). This level 2 code may be used in the material declaration in the situation when a supplier does not know the level 3 code (which are represented by a 3-digit code). This provides a migration path from broader classifications to more detailed classifications when know. However, the level 2 material categories will typically not provide enough information for a good LCA.
When using the IEC 62474 MCL, the declaration need need to identify the list by authority, identity, and version as follows:
For support or training on the correct implementation of IEC 62474 material declarations, contact ECD Compliance.