The EU has backed a project to increase plastics recycling content in the automotive industry, to be carried out by recycler Luxus in collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover.
Lincolnshire-based Luxus will use the £600,000 grant to improve its range of lightweight polypropylene compounds to make it more appealing for use in theinterior design of vehicles.
Peter Atterby, Luxus managing director, said: “This investment will enable us to make a fundamental step change in our technology as we aim to replace our filled compounds with next-generation reinforcing additives.
“These additives offer excellent tensile properties that do not detract from the appearance of the moulded compound, yet their adoption reduces weight by up to 12% per part and significantly improves scratch resistance to meet industry standards.”
The range contains up to 60% recycled content. Luxus is preparing a patent application for the process.
Car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover will provide guidance on technical requirements. Luxus said this will allow the exploitation of the technology in applications across the car industry.
Other partners in the project are twin screw manufacturer Coperion and moulding supplier IAC.
At full capacity Luxus expects to gain a 2% share of the European interior trim market by 2016.
Atterby said: “We believe that sustainable polymer technology has come of age, its performance is the same as virgin and therefore it should be priced the same – this is our message for Europe’s auto industry.”