Ultra-Poly yesterday announced a first-of-its-kind bumper recycling program. The initiative collects and reprocesses damaged automotive bumpers into a new raw material.
Ultra-Poly collaborated with Tier 1 automotive supplier Autoneum North America to develop a product that uses the recycled bumper material as a rigid backing substrate for a fibrous layer creating a composite used in vibration and noise attenuation in a chassis component. The material is listed in the International Material Data System (IMDS).
As a member of the PLASTICS Industry Association, the company was one of several who worked on the End of Life Vehicle (ELV) project, which sought to determine if the fascia material could be recovered for use into new fascia. While the project was ultimately deemed not viable, primarily due to surface finish issues, Ultra-Poly saw potential in other polypropylene compounds as well as non-appearance applications in automotive and other industrial markets.
Ultra-Poly collects the used bumper covers directly from autobody shops where they have been removed from vehicles and stripped of any usable connected components.
According to Kevin Cronin, VP of sustainability and R&D at Ultra-Poly says the program will help move the auto industry closer to a circular economy.
With five locations in Pennsylvania, Ultra-Poly produces custom compounded polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) resins from recycled plastics, and provides toll reprocessing services for plant-generated scrap in several different industries.
According to Dan Moler, Autoneum North America VP of product development and engineering, OEMs are requiring more recycled content and the new product delivers on that challenge.
Samples of the recycled material are being made available to automotive manufacturers and suppliers for other potential programs.