We have all seen the ever growing use of plastics in vehicles which is balanced by an ever reducing amount of metal. Plastics have never offered the values to justify their removal, sorting and baling but times are changing.
A Lincolnshire based plastics recycler, Luxus Limited has been pioneering the use of recycled material for new automotive parts. After all, that’s what closing the loop is all about. The plastics industry has had many setbacks, particularly with quality and material finish where recycled plastic is concerned, but a recent £600,000 EU grant should allow Luxus to commercialise its Hycolene range of lightweight polypropylene (PP) compounds.
These compounds use up to 60 per cent recycled content, making new vehicles greener, and lighter, enabling the European automotive industry to increase its use of recycled content polymers to satisfy both end-of-life legislation and tougher emissions targets.
Luxus will be collaborating on this project with Jaguar Land Rover, twin screw manufacturer Coperion to help with complex processing and tier one moulding supplier IAC for materials trials.
Jaguar Land Rover will be providing end-user guidance on the project to ensure the technical requirements are met, allowing exploitation of this technology in future applications across the industry.
Luxus managing director Peter Atterby said: “We’re pleased that the commercial potential of our Hycolene range has been recognised by the EU. This investment will enable us to effectively make a fundamental step change in our technology as we aim to replace our filled compounds with next generation reinforcing additives.”
Luxus is preparing a patent application for the new advanced polymer technology process. Its capacity, however, to produce these compounds will be limited by access to local sources of recyclate PP. So in the future it intends to license its intellectual property of formulations and knowledge to other selected compounders in the EU.
For the full article in ATF Professional, click here