Another class of highly value materials are techno-polymers: advanced polymers with high mechanical properties allowing to substitute metals, but offering a much lower weight. To mitigate the car weight increase caused by batteries and electronics, without compromising in safety and mechanical performance, the content of techno-polymers in E&HEVs is higher than in traditional combustion vehicles and it is expected to increase significantly in the next years in e-mobility industry.
Typical techno-polymers components are air intake manifold, gear shift housing, bumper, valve covers, engine cover, wheel covers, etc. It can be estimated that in a small segment electric car, these components account for a value of about 200€. In the current ELV value-chain these high-value components are not disassembled and they are shredded and sent to the non-metallic fraction for energy recovery or landfill.
After being disassembled in the first Smart Mobile Module (SMM), components will be cleaned a visually inspected. In case of no evident defects, non-destructive tests will be conducted to verify the existence of invisible defect as cracks in the second testing and certification SMM.
If no micro-defect is identified, parts will be sent to a refurbishing company, that will perform accurate cleaning and re-painting before showcasing the refurbished parts in the CarE-Service Platform.
In case of micro or macro defects, parts will be recycled by accommodation into newly formulated compounds, with a concentration of at least 30% of reused fractions. A check of compatibility of the component material with the polyamide will be first conducted. If the result will be positive, the component will be cleaned, separated from metal sub-parts and finally grinded. After the introduction of additives and eventual colour, the polymer will be extruded for transformation into new automotive parts (such as dashboard structures, battery supports, etc.), or in components for other sectors (such as office chair supports for the furniture industry, customized design products, etc.). In case of no compatibility of the material with the polyamide, the component will be incinerated to produce thermal energy.