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Recycling vehicles
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Working groups

Dismantling (see Recafuta)

Single car parts are removed mainly by hand or using simple tools. The complexities of both car construction and components led the group to conclude that the emphasis should be on car design. Car parts must be designed with dismantling in mind ('design for recycling').

Material recycling
(see CEMIR and Compare)

Metal recycling is conventional but there is still room for improvement (see CEMIR). Some plastic recycling technologies have already been effectively developed, with schemes for the recycling of compounds such as plastic battery casings and bumpers, enabling their reuse in automotive interior trim, for example. However, end-user requirements - the market place - are the driving force for automotive plastics recycling (see Compare).

Electric motors with improved recyclability

Every car currently contains 20-60 electric motors. When old cars are broken up, the copper-wire windings inside the motors are trapped and contaminate the steel to be recycled. The CEMIR project designed a friable electric motor from compressed iron powder. This breaks up and releases the copper wiring as the car is crushed during end-of-life recycling operations. Consequently, the valuable copper can now be recycled and the steel is less contaminated. The new material and motor also have other advantages, including better physical properties; a factory will soon start producing these new motors by the million.

P. Marchal


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Recycling vehicles