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Researchers look to boost use of recycled material in vehicles


Spanish innovation hub Aimplas has kicked off a programme of work to boost the circular economy for car parts.

The technology centre launched its Surftop project to study the effects of using recycled materials in vehicle manufacture.

Plastic is increasingly used in cars to reduce weight and operational carbon emissions, according to Aimplas.

Yet proposed changes to the EU’s End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV) Directive would require 25 per cent of plastics in new cars to be built from recycled material.

Surftop aims to develop technologies that make it possible for circular parts to comply with vehicle interior air quality requirements and maintain manufacturer surface properties such as colour and bond strength.

Sergio Mayor Aroca, a researcher at Aimplas’ Automotive and Transportation Laboratory, said: “Improving the quality of recycled materials from cars is key to using them more in the sector.

“Surftop is part of a circular economy strategy because it focuses on obtaining recycled raw materials from automotive industry waste for the manufacture of new parts that will be analysed in terms of volatile and semi-volatile compounds, as well as surface properties, in order to comply with the requirements established by the automotive industry for parts designed for interior and exterior use.”

Recycler GBP Metal Group will provide post-consumer recycled materials from specific car parts for the project.