With the recent acquisition of WIPAG, ALBIS has further strengthened its position as a supplier of innovative technical compounds based on recycled ingredients. In the case of WIPAG products, recycled carbon fibre is deployed to achieve highly competitive lightweight solutions.
The potential is clearly illustrated in this example of an Audi A7 fuel cap:
For this application, a PA6 + GF50 compound was replaced with a PP + 30% rCF compound – resulting in a significant weight saving at the same mechanical performance. The reduction in weight lies in the density. PP (compared to PA6) and carbon fibre (compared to glass fibre) add up to a more than 30% lower density. But the real beauty of this solution is seen in the final part price! “Although the kilo price of the PP + 30% rCF was higher, the fact that parts are moulded per volume means that less material (by weight) is required to produce the parts – resulting in an overall part cost reduction of some 10%. Lightweight and lower part cost are where our WIPAG recycled carbon fibre compounds are really making difference, particularly in the automotive sector where the relentless search for lower weight and the accompanying lower fuel consumption and emissions are of such great importance” explained Thomas Marquardt, Managing Director of WIPAG.
WIPAG does not just recycle carbon fiber. In Gardelegen, Germany, the company recycles PP bumpers on a large-scale as well as instrument panels, wheel arch liners and other large volume plastic components. "Our particular expertise is in reworking, i.e. stripping, separating materials and regranulation, whereby we end up with a very clean recycled material that can be re-used for the same purpose ("closed loop")," explains WIPAG application technician Tobias Klopfleisch. Bernd Sparenberg, Vice President Technical Compounds at ALBIS PLASTIC and WIPAG Managing Director, anticipates interesting growth prospects in the future for technologies that support the closed-loop economy, "There are still no hard and fast legislative rules for the disposal of old cars. But current discussions and initiatives at a European level show the way things are headed and that there is a future for ambitious and economically viable recycling technology."
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