1997-02-24

Plastic Material Separation on Vehicle Subsystems 970414

Hand dismantling of certain automotive parts has been an accepted process to remove high value materials, but in large scale recycling this may not be economical. In plastics, a pure non contaminated material stream is critical for maintaining high material values and this means designing plastic parts that can be machine separated. One candidate for separating the plastics in vehicle subsystems such as instrument panels and door trim panels is density separation. In order to better understand what processes are required to develop design requirements for automated plastic separation methods Chrysler and the Vehicle Recycling Partnership have undertaken a major materials separation study with MBA Polymers. In this paper, we describe the material separation methods and the application of these methods to three automotive interior assemblies. Reasonable success was achieved in separating the simpler assemblies (door trim panels and bumper-fascias), although problems were encountered in separating instrument panels into pure streams of materials.

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