Car Headliner Made From Recycled Materials

The polyurethane (PU) headliner’s substrate is manufactured with a Wet PU process that involves materials made from urban & post-consumer plastic waste and end of life tires.

Italian car parts manufacturer Grupo Antolin, has developed the first of its kind headliner substrate produced by thermoforming a polyurethane (PU) foam with urban and post-consumer plastic waste and end of life (ELT) tires.

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Working with recycled materials is a natural step in Grupo Antolin’s commitment to develop a sustainable business. The aim is to reduce waste and energy consumption during manufacturing and to meet the demand for eco-friendly interiors, something increasingly valued in car buyers’ choices, the company said.

The headliner part looks the same as a standard headliner and performs exactly the same without any reduction in the physical properties of the headliner. This has been made possible through ChemCycling™ —a material manufacturing process using chemical recycling developed by partner BASF.   Grupo Antolin has validated the ChemCycling™ technology and introduced vehicle parts made from recycled materials in a fully electric European premium car recently launched in the market. Approximately 50 percent of the headliner is recycled.

In this particular project, 100 percent of the textile, 70 percent of the core foam, and 70 percent of the plastic sunroof reinforcement frame have been made from residues  that couldn’t be recycled in any other way.

This project is a step towards a more sustainable car interior trim and a huge leap for the Wet PU technology. A technology that has demonstrated to be the most competitive in terms of cost and quality, fulfilling at the same time the most demanding customer specifications, Grupo Antolin engineers said.

“We are going one step further by deploying the strategy among our clients worldwide. Our next project featuring recycled core PU foam will be unveiled in 2022 and it’ll be manufactured using renewable electricity. Our commitment is to reduce the generation of waste and emissions in all our production processes,” Javier Blanco, Grupo Antolin’s Sustainability Director said.

In the BASF ChemCycling™ project plastic-derived pyrolysis oils and tire-derived pyrolysis oils are processed into new chemical products mainly for use in new plastic automotive products.

This action is part of the Sustainability Master Plan that has been designed with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals’ 2030 Agenda as a roadmap.

© Scrap Tire News, January 2022