Jaguar turns waste plastic into car interiors

Innovative recycling process converts plastic waste into a new premium grade material for future vehicles

25 July 2019 - 14:42 By Motor News Reporter
JLR looks to mould more vehicle parts in new luxo plastic material. Picture: SUPPLIED
JLR looks to mould more vehicle parts in new luxo plastic material. Picture: SUPPLIED

The quest for new age materials to construct vehicle parts continues with chemicals giant BASF and Jaguar Land Rover trialling an innovative recycling process which converts plastic waste into a new premium grade material that could feature on JLR’s future vehicles.

The ChemCycling up-cycles domestic waste pyrolysis oil through a thermochemical process. This secondary raw material is then fed into a production chain as a replacement for fossil resources, ultimately producing a new premium grade that replicates the high quality and performance of ‘virgin’ plastics.

The material can be tempered and coloured for designing the next-generation dashboards and exterior surfaces. JLR is currently busy with prototyping the material in a Jaguar i-PACE to verify if it meets the same stringent safety requirements of the existing original part.

Chris Brown, Senior Sustainability Manager at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Plastics are vital to car manufacturing and have proven benefits during their use phase; however, plastic waste remains a major global challenge. Solving this issue requires innovation and joined-up thinking between regulators, manufacturers and suppliers.”

JLR has previously collaborated with Kvadrat to offer customers alternative seat options of the material available initially on the Range Rover Velar and Range Rover Evoque, and using a combination of a durable wool blend with a technical suede cloth made from 53 recycled plastic bottles per vehicle.

It’s estimated that the amount of waste plastic is predicted to exceed 12-million tons globally by 2050.

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