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Technical Paper

Metal Recovery from Shredder Residue Fines

End-of-life appliance, automobile and mixed ferrous scrap shredder residue screened to pass 2.2 cm with a metal content of 12.9% was characterized and processed to yield organic- and inorganic-rich products. A combination of hydrocycloning, screening, rising current, wet tabling, magnet, and grinding technology was utilized to give ferrous and non-ferrous metal, organic, and inorganic/sand separations at four different size distributions. Economic modeling of the process showed that mechanical recovery of the metal and sand, based upon current market pricing of the constituents, may be viable, reducing landfill volumes and creating a new revenue stream for the shredding operation.
Technical Paper


The United States Council of Automotive Research (USCAR) under the Vehicle Recycling Partnership (VRP) along with our collaborators Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), American Plastic Council (APC) and the Association of Plastic Manufactures in Europe (APME) has been conducting research on automated recovery of plastics from shredder residue. A Belgium company Salyp NV located in Ypres, Belgium has been contracted by the VRP to demonstrate a recovery process that can separate several plastic types including polyurethane foam out of the shredder residue waste stream. One hundred metric tons of shredder residue was supplied from three different metal recycling companies (shredders) including a US metal recycler as well as two different European metal recyclers/shredders. This shredder residue was evaluated and processed by Salyp. This paper explains the separation processes along with processing efficiencies, material characterization, mass balances and the amount of plastics recovered.
Technical Paper

APC Vision and Technology Roadmap for the Automotive Market-Defining Priority Research for Plastics in 21st Century Vehicles

The American Plastics Council (APC), working with the automotive industry, is leading the plastics industry in a groundbreaking effort to expand the future use of plastics in passenger vehicles. As part of this effort, APC has developed Plastics in Automotive Markets Vision and Technology Roadmap. This document is based in large part on a workshop held in May 2000 in Dearborn, Michigan, which was attended by representatives of plastics producers, OEMs, Tier suppliers, academia and government. The workshop was a collaborative effort with the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Transportation Technologies. During the workshop, participants identified many of the critical technologies needed to expand markets for automotive plastics.
Technical Paper

Size Reduction and Material Separation Technologies for the Recovery of Automotive Interior Trim ABS and PP Plastics from Dismantled End-of-Life Vehicles: Preliminary Research into Continuous Processing

The life-cycle benefits of plastics in automotive applications are significant and continue to expand. Achieving cost-effective recycling of interior plastic components obtained from end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) remains a formidable technical and economic challenge worldwide. The American Plastics Council (APC) has pioneered large-scale process development work toward advancing environmentally and economically sound recovery technologies for plastics from ELVs. Groundbreaking studies have focused on the recovery of ABS and PP interior trim plastics. A combination of dry and wet processing of over 50,000 pounds of interior trim parts obtained through selective dismantling has been completed and streams of ABS and PP isolated. This work included the evaluation of fast mid-infrared plastics ID technology to facilitate the separation and purification process. Both sorted and unsorted trim was processed.
Technical Paper

Not the Delorean Revisited: An Assessment of the Competitive Position of a Stainless Steel Body-in-White

Autokinetics is a Rochester Hills MI design firm working with Armco, a supplier of stainless steel. Together, they have developed an architecture that replaces the traditional stamped and spot welded steel unibody with a novel stainless steel spaceframe architecture. Fabrication Rollformings Thin wall castings Progressive die stampings Plastic support and exterior panels Assembly - Spot, laser, and MIG welding Relative to conventional steel unibodies, the Autokinetics spaceframe architecture offers a number of projected advantages. Substantial mass reduction Increased safety Improved ride and NVH More flexible packaging Lower lifecycle impact Potential for paint shop elimination The obvious question that arises, and the one that this paper will answer, is: How does the Autokinetics spaceframe architecture compete on cost?
Technical Paper

Environmentally Sound Energy Recovery from Automotive Shredder Residue: European Overview of Co-Combustion Using Modern Mass Burn Facilities

Research, development, and demonstration of environmentally and economically responsible and sustainable recovery options for plastics from end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) is an active area of study. The plastics industry has been researching a variety of mechanical recycling, feedstock recycling, energy/fuel recovery, and reuse options for post-use automotive plastics. This paper reports on recent commercial experience and test programs using automotive shredder residue (ASR) containing post-use automotive plastics as an environmentally sound energy source in modern waste-to-energy plants. Commercial experience in Europe, especially Germany and Switzerland, is highlighted. A major test program cosponsored by the Association of Plastics Manufacturers in Europe (APME) and the American Plastics Council (APC) has recently demonstrated that co-firing ASR with municipal solid waste (MSW) can be carried out in compliance with strict German air emissions and ash management regulations.
Technical Paper

The Role of Plastics in Automotive Shredder Residue (ASR): Characterization and Environmental Assessment

Following the recovery of resalable parts through selective dismantling of end-of-life vehicles (ELVs), the remaining automobile hulks are today shredded in hammer mills to facilitate the recovery of ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Large household appliances (white goods) and other light metal scrap are often co-shredded with ELVs. The residue from this industrial operation is called automotive shredder residue (ASR) and is predominately landfillled in Europe and the United States. In the present study, several real-world samples of ASR from automobiles-only and mixed-metal shredding were carefully hand-sorted into as many as 17 separate fractions and analyzed to ascertain the distribution of heavy metals and other materials. The study emphasized the plastic and rubber fractions with an interest toward increased recovery of these materials.
Technical Paper

Economic Analysis of the Ultra Light Steel Auto Body

Aluminum and polymer composites have long been considered the materials of choice for achieving mass reduction in automotive structures. As consumer and government demand for mass reduction grows, the use of these materials, which have traditionally been more expensive than the incumbent steel, becomes more likely. In response to this growing challenge, the international steel community has joined forces to develop the Ultra Light Steel Auto Body (ULSAB). The resulting design saves mass and increases performance relative to current steel unibodies. Although mass savings are not as dramatic as those achieved by alternative materials, this design offers the potential to be accompanied by a manufacturing cost reduction. The projected manufacturing piece and investment cost for the ULSAB are investigated using technical cost modeling. The results presented here examine the elements that contribute to the cost, including treatments for stamping, hydroforming, assembly and purchased parts.
Technical Paper

Hydroformed Structural Elements: An Economic Evaluation of the Technology

Hyrdroformed tubes have seen use in the aerospace industry for many years and are seeing increased use in the automotive body-in-white (BIW). The automotive industry has chosen to use hydroformings for a number of reasons including reduced part weight, piece count reduction, and the flexibility to form complex shapes of varying wall thickness. With all of these potential advantages, still one more provides the greatest incentive to switch from a stamped assembly to a hydroformed tube: the ability to reduce cost. It is generally accepted that hydroformings can indeed be cost effective to produce, yet the question remains: when should a stamped assembly be replaced by a hydroformed component? This paper will attempt to answer the question above by laying out several case studies and comparing their direct manufacturing costs.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Tailor Welded Blanks Through Technical Cost Modeling

In the past decade, the demand for and development of tailor-welded blanks (TWBs) has increased dramatically. TWBs help reduce body mass, piece count and assembly costs, while potentially reducing overall cost. IBIS Associates, Inc. has performed a cost analysis of tailor welded blank manufacturing through the use of Technical Cost Modeling (TCM), a methodology used to simulate fabrication and assembly processes. IBIS has chosen the automobile door inner panel for comparison of TWBs and conventionally stamped door inners with added reinforcements. Manufacturing costs are broken down by operation for variable costs (material, direct labor, utility), and fixed costs (equipment, tooling, building, overhead labor, maintenance, and cost of capital). Analyses yield information valuable to process selection by comparing cost as a function of manufacturing method, process yield, production volume, and process rate.
Technical Paper

The Steel Unibody: The Application of Cost Analysis to Determine Cost Reduction Strategies

Despite repeated challenges from alternative materials and processes, the stamped and spot welded steel unibody remains the near-unanimous choice of automakers for vehicle body-in-white (BIW) structures and exterior panels in volume production. Conventional steel's only weakness is mass; aluminum and polymer composites offer the potential for considerable mass savings, but generally at a higher cost. Efforts within the automakers as well as by outside organizations such as the international steel industry's Ultra Light Steel Auto Body (ULSAB) program are underway to improve the steel uni-body's mass and cost position. To reduce cost, it is first necessary to identify cost. The measurement of cost for a complex system such as an automobile BIW is far from a trivial task. This paper presents an analytical approach to understanding the manufacturing cost for a conventional steel unibody. The results of this cost analysis are then used to outline a strategy for future cost reduction.
Technical Paper

Compression Molded Sheet Molding Compound (SMC) for Automotive Exterior Body Panels: A Cost and Market Assessment

Automotive exterior body panels are a critical component of today's vehicle. They provide a surface for painting, offer the first line of defense against damage from accidents and the elements, and in most cases add to the overall stiffness of the vehicle. Despite small inroads from aluminum and polymer systems, steel remains the predominant body panel material. Of the alternatives, sheet molding compound (SMC) has been the most successful challenger. This paper examines the cost and market conditions affecting SMC today and in the near future. The impact on cost of SMC compression molding process improvements is assessed over a ten year period for a full body panel set. These results are compared to stamped steel as a function of annual production volume and other key factors. The result is a cost “crossover” point below which SMC has the lower cost.
Technical Paper

Making the PNGV Super Car a Reality with Carbon Fiber: Pragmatic Goal or Pipe Dream?

The Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV), a collaborative government-industry R&D program, has laid out and initiated a plan for a “Supercar” with the following specifications: a fuel economy of 80 miles per gallon (2.9 liters/100 km), size comparable to a midsize, four door sedan, equivalent function in other performance areas, and cost commensurate with that of today's automobile. Together, the performance and cost goals are formidable to say the least. The PNGV projects that a 50% mass savings in the “body-in-white” (BIW) is a necessary contribution to meet the 80 mpg goal. The two most likely materials systems to meet the mass reduction goal are aluminum and carbon fiber reinforced polymer composites, neither of which are inexpensive relative to today's steel unibody.
Technical Paper

Solventborne Painting of a Steel Autobody: A Manufacturing Cost Analysis of Conventional and UV Bake Curing

The painting of today's automobile incurs both economic as well as environmental costs. Using an approach called Technical Cost Modeling, this paper assesses the cost of painting a steel vehicle using a conventional solventborne painting technique and a UV cure alternative. The UV cure approach is found to have a cost advantage due primarily to decreased material, energy, and investment components. The cost of both systems is examined as a function of changing production volumes (and corresponding production rates) as well as first pass capability, with volume being found to be the more significant contributor. While the UV cure approach needs to be demonstrated at prototype and high volumes, it offers the potential not only for improved cost, but also significantly decreased environmental impact in the form of reduced volatile organic compound (VOC) solvent emissions.
Technical Paper

A Manufacturing Cost Analysis of Tube and Node Steel Spaceframes

The design and manufacture of today's automobile structure is dominated by a single approach: the stamping and spot welding of sheet steel. There are, however, a number of potential challengers to this steel unibody approach. These include a steel spaceframe, an aluminum unibody, an aluminum spaceframe, a composite monocoque, and hybrids of these types. The primary barriers to adopting these alternatives have been technical practicality and cost. This paper considers one of the alternative approaches -the steel spaceframe- and examines its cost for two potential design and manufacturing scenarios using a computer spreadsheet based technique called Technical Cost Modeling. Selected default assumptions -including annual production volume, piece count, and assembly rates- are then varied to assess their impact on overall cost. The manufacturing costs for a conventional steel unibody as well as several of the other alternatives are used as a baseline for comparison.
Technical Paper

Cost Simulation of the Automobile Recycling Infrastructure: The Impact of Plastics Recovery

Much attention has focused recently on the recycling of automobiles. Due to the value of their metallic content, automobiles are presently the most highly recycled product in the world. The problem is the remainder of material that is presently landfilled. Automotive shredder residue (ASR, or “fluff”) is made up of a number of materials including plastics, glass, fluids, and dirt. The presence of this mix presents both a problem and an opportunity for the automotive and recycling industries. In order to determine how best to recover the materials that make up ASR, it is first necessary to understand the costs incurred in the present automobile recycling infrastructure: dismantling, shredding/ferrous metal separation, non-ferrous metal separation, and landfilling. Through a technique called Technical Cost Modeling, the costs of the present process are simulated.
Technical Paper

Economic Criteria for Sensible Selection of Body Panel Materials

In order to determine the best way to evaluate materials selection from an economic standpoint, a discussion of conventional cost estimation is given versus a more precise technique, Technical Cost Modeling. Automotive body panels are used as an application for the costing techniques; conclusions about fabrication costs and parts consolidation are drawn with regard to these parts.