Grupo Antolin has developed a car headliner substrate produced by thermoforming a polyurethane foam with materials from post-consumer plastic waste and used tires.
Grupo Antolin worked with BASF SE to develop the material's manufacturing process through chemical recycling. The company "validated and introduced" the material in a European electric vehicle "that has just been launched to the market," a Nov. 22 news release said.
"We are going one step further by deploying the strategy among our clients worldwide," Javier Blanco, Grupo Antolin's sustainability director said in the release. "Our next project featuring recycled core PU foam will be unveiled in 2022 and it'll be manufactured using renewable electricity.”
"This project is a step towards a more sustainable car interior trim and a huge leap for the wet PU technology," Enrique Fernandez, advanced engineering director of overhead systems at Grupo Antolin.
The part looks and performs "exactly" like a standard headliner, the release said.
About 50 percent of the part's weight is recycled materials, it said. The project used residues, in the textile, core foam and plastic sunroof reinforcement frame, that can't be recycled in other ways "and would have been ultimately disposed in landfills … or natural habitats like oceans.”
Grupo Antolin did not immediately respond to request for comment by Plastics News. It did not identify which car the headliner is being used in.
The technology "has demonstrated to be the most competitive in terms of cost and quality, fulfilling at the same time the most demanding specifications from our clients," Fernandez added.