A Recyclability Evaluation of Automotive Interior Components 931029

The American public's desire to recycle and the predictions of future recycle mandates are motivating automotive OEMs and plastic suppliers to address the recycling of plastic materials. As a result, the OEMs and plastic industry groups have asked resin suppliers, automotive dismantlers and reprocessors to assist them in studying and developing solutions for the recovery of post-consumer automotive plastics and recycling those materials back into automotive applications. The Dow Chemical Company has been a participant in plastic industry sponsored projects and has initiated numerous research and development activities involving the recycling of automotive thermoplastic and thermoset materials, as well. This paper addresses the recovery, separation, characterization, reprocessing, and modification of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polycarbonate (PC) /ABS automotive interior grade thermoplastics, with the following studies:
  • STUDY #1 - Property characterization of mixed supplier grades of interior trim ABS recovered from GM and Ford vehicles (1985-91 model years) in Michigan salvage yards.
  • This study is part of the “Automotive Plastics Recovery and Recycling Research Project” sponsored by the American Plastics Council (APC) industry organization.
  • STUDY #2 - Property characterization of specific low gloss ABS materials recovered from 7 to 10 year old General Motors vehicles in Arizona salvage yards. This study determined the properties of unpainted, UV stabilized ABS exposed to the actual environmental conditions seen inside Arizona vehicles.
  • STUDY #3 - Impact evaluation of automotive trim ABS recyclate. This study determined the potential of upgrading the properties of 100% ABS recyclate and determined the effect of paint on the impact retention of ABS recyclate.
  • STUDY #4 - Property characterization of PC/ABS recyclate collected from foamed/skinned instrument panels. This study evaluated the feasibility of separating the PC/ABS substrate from the foam/skin covering and determined the property retention of the PC/ABS recyclate.


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