Recycling RIM Thermoset Polymers into Automotive Fascia 940169
The technologies of recycling Reaction Injection Molded (RIM) polyurethane polymers have been refined to the stage of commercial reality. Chrysler Corporation is in the process of qualifying the use of automotive fascia containing recycled RIM thermoset polymers. This will mark the first use, in North America, of a recycled RIM thermoset polymer into a class A surface exterior automotive part. This was made possible through a close working relationship with Polyrim Green Lane, a division of Decoma International, and Dow Plastics. The described process technology allows the recycle of painted and unpainted process scrap, and potentially post consumer scrap, into the same application without the loss of surface quality or polymer performance. This will divert these materials from the waste stream that is currently being landfilled. Described refinements include scrap pulverization, the effect of particle size, moisture content, and the effect of painted scrap on the polymer's performance. Details of the three stream RIM process are also discussed. Although there are other alternatives for recycling RIM thermoset polymers, such as chemolysis and hot compression molding, the three stream RIM regrind process holds a potential cost advantage over the other recycle routes.