Mazda Motor Corp. has developed ways to recycle the materials of dismantled car bumpers for use in those of brand-new vehicles, and has begun testing the methods in March, according to company officials.
TOKYO Mazda Motor Corp. has developed ways to recycle the materials of dismantled car bumpers for use in those of brand-new vehicles, and has begun testing the methods in March, according to company officials.
If the methods are introduced to a broad range of its vehicles, they will help the automaker reduce the amount of waste materials to be reclaimed and cut manufacturing costs as well, the officials said.
According to the officials, bumpers are required to be strong to absorb the impact of a clash in case of an accident, and at the same time, should look good as "the face of the vehicle." Materials for bumpers should therefore be of high quality and are expensive compared with other vehicle parts, they said.
But conventional methods for recycling bumper materials have limits -- old coating substances are difficult to remove fully, and when the materials from the used bumpers are made into new bumpers, the surface of the new ones can be rough.
To date, automakers have recycled materials collected from used bumpers to make parts that cannot be seen on the outside, such as engine covers, the officials said.
Mazda, however, has found ways to process used bumpers into fine pellets and remove 99.9 percent of the old coating substances by applying optical technologies. The quality of recycled materials is high enough to be used for manufacturing brand-new bumpers, they said.
Mazda began using the methods partly for the new bumpers of its popular RX-8 sports cars in March, they added.
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Source: Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News