The automobile interior of the 90's must not only meet the fundamental design requirements of customer satisfaction through quality and performance but must be designed with the philosophy of recyclability.
Recycle content of the motor vehicle is 75% by weight with the majority of this being steel based components. The remaining 25% is composed of non-metallic materials such as plastics, glass, fibers, foam, dirt, sand and gravel. These materials are often contaminated with automobile fluids and oils which add there own special problems to landfilling. Approximately 9% of this 25% is plastic materials of which the bulk is interior components where the largest share is the instrument panel materials.
The reclaiming process of automobiles materials requires that the metallic and non-metallic materials be separated and shredded. The secondary metallic industry recovers the shredded metal materials and the non-metallic automobile shredded residue (ASR) is sent to landfilling. The increasing landfill cost, along with the environmental concerns of waste contaminates encourages the search for cost-effective alternatives to landfilling. This paper will discuss environmentally safe techniques for usage of materials for design, manufacturing and reclaiming practices for the instrument panel system.