What if recycled is the new raw?
Over the past decade, there has been increasing consumer demand for more environmentally friendly, resource-saving products in many markets, including the automotive industry. OEMs and their suppliers have reacted to this evolution (and intensified regulations) with different process and products, by recovering, recycling, and reusing materials – striving for true material circularity.
Trinseo is constantly rethinking plastic raw materials and searching for smarter, more advanced, and more sustainable solutions. So, what if recycled plastics would be a new raw material comparable to virgin materials?
One of our answers for the automotive industry is the brand-new series of PULSE™ GX ECO PC/ABS grades offering up to 50% post-industry recycled (PIR) content. This series provides a comparable performance to its virgin equivalent, allows for a proven lower CO2 footprint, and fulfills the demanding specifications of major global OEMs.
LCA-proven positive environmental impact
For PULSE™ GX70 ECO we relied on 50% European-sourced post-industrial recycled (PIR) polycarbonate and our market-leading premium ABS resin MAGNUM™. PULSE™ GX50 ECO is manufactured with MAGNUM™ ABS and 30% PIR polycarbonate. Both of them provide a comparable performance to premium virgin material and differentiate with an improved sustainability factor.
The favorable environmental impact has been proven by a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) analysis in collaboration with an independent external partner. The analysis involved assessing alternative materials from the start of the development process and throughout the entire product life cycle. (See figure below.)
The LCA analysis for our PULSE™ GX ECO PC/ABS grades compared the difference in carbon dioxide emissions, water and energy consumption to that of virgin materials-based PC/ABS. In all cases, Trinseo’s PIR-containing resins showed a reduced environmental impact, with up to 48% per cent less energy consumption, 39% fewer CO2 emissions, and 39% lower water consumption.
The ecofication of our superior PULSE™ PC/ABS technology
Very low density, superior flow properties, low temperature ductility – these are only a few of the many features of Trinseo’s globally renowned PULSE™ GX PC/ABS solutions, enabling aesthetic, lightweight high-performance applications for vehicles. Based on this successful technology, we have developed our PULSE™ GX50 ECO and GX70 ECO PC/ABS, highly suitable for automotive interiors.
“The launch of our new PULSE™ ECO series extends our ECO portfolio of recycled content-based PC and PC/ABS materials,” according to Frank Schumann, Global Marketing Manager, Automotive, Trinseo. “Our automotive customers are increasingly seeking out recycled materials for interior applications.” The PULSE™ GX50 and 70 ECO grades will be launched and made available in the first half of 2020. They are part of a broader range of PULSE™ ECO PC/ABS grades manufactured using recycled content.
The existing PULSE™ GX PC/ABS technology provides a proven high-quality basis for the new ECO grades that will power visible interior applications such as mid and floor consoles, instrument panels, pillars, and more. Therefore, we formulated the PULSE™ ECO versions with the goal to achieve the relatively same strong properties and specifications as our PULSE™ GX series made from 100% virgin raw materials.
The ECO grades with 30 to 50% recycled content (depending on product grade) will offer not only low density, superior flow properties and low temperature ductility. They will also provide an excellent low odor performance as a result of their MAGNUM™ ABS content. This makes PULSE™ GX ECO PC/ABS particularly suitable for components in vehicles’ interiors.
“We are proud that Trinseo’s PULSE™ ECO series meets vital sustainability objectives for our customers. It is fulfilling major OEM specifications for PC/ABS, while its lower density allows for the production of up to 3% more parts per ton versus competitive materials,” Frank Schumann summarizes. ”In addition, our ECO PC/ABS will also deliver design advantages as a lightweight material with high dimensional stability and a smooth finish.”
We do not see sustainability as a transient hype or constraint. Sustainability is intrinsic to Trinseo and our everyday approach to business. It offers opportunities for innovation and progress. This is one of the reasons why we support our customers with environmentally responsible solutions, including recycled content-containing resins that enable product designers to create products that are eco-friendlier.
Trinseo will launch the brand-new PIR-containing PULSE™ GX50 ECO and PULSE™ GX70 ECO grades in the first half of 2020 in Europe.
Contact Frank Schumann at email@example.com to learn more about how we rethink raw materials and support our customers with customized, sustainable solutions for automotive mobility.