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Car roofs for a new use

The GAIKER Technological Centre (Basque Country) and the ANTOLIN GROUP, a world leader in the design and production of a wide variety of components for the automobile industry, have designed a research project aimed at improving the assessment of residues created in the manufacture of automobile roofs.

It is currently estimated that a plant manufacturing roofs can generate something like 2000t of different residues per year, some of which are very complex in their structure and composition and end up in waste dumps. The recycling and evaluation of these residues, together with the work of enhancing the production methods in order to minimise the volume manufactured, has become the main aim in the automobile sector. The sector has, apart from taking on board the challenge of increasing specifications while reducing the cost of their products, taken on highly important commitments regarding the conservation of the environment. During the project an exhaustive study was carried out to characterise and evaluate the properties of these materials, as well as to identify and locate the sectors and businesses likely to benefit. The energy content of the plastic residues has also been taken into account and the various possibilities of designing lines of industrial production for new products in the automobile and other industrial sectors. After working on the various options for the utilisation of these plastics, individually or combined with other materials, it was decided to develop thermoplastic and thermostable mixtures and carry out analyses of each of their formulations, with the view of manufacturing prototype parts, their real behaviour being evaluated through specific trials. Carrying out this research project has confirmed the existence of very good alternatives to waste dumping of residues from the manufacture of automobile roofs, both for their importance in industrial activity niches able to take advantage of their productive capacity, as well as for other types of parts for the automobile sector.

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