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Making aluminium recycling a REALITY

Posted on 03 May 2019 and read 1099 times
Making aluminium recycling a REALITYCoventry-based Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), the UK’s largest automotive manufacturer, is developing the next phase of its ‘closed-loop’ strategy with a recycling initiative to recover aluminium.

Called REALITY, this aims to recover aluminium from existing JLR vehicles and reform it into a new high-grade aluminium to create new vehicles. The process is currently being tested on pre-production Jaguar I-PACE prototypes.

The scrap from the vehicles is sorted into various materials (using high-tech sensors) by Cheshire-based recycling specialist Axion.

Once separated, the aluminium scrap is melted and reformed. When operating at full capacity, REALITY will reduce the CO2 impact of production, while reducing the amount of virgin aluminium required to produce vehicles.

JLR has already reduced its output of CO2 during the manufacturing process by 46% per vehicle, and it is committed to making further progress in this area.

The REALITY project, co-funded by Innovate UK, is helping JLR to extend its closed-loop aluminium economy. Between September 2013 and January 2019, around 300,000 tonnes of closed-loop scrap have been processed back into the brand’s lightweight aluminium-intensive architecture across all vehicle lines, including the Jaguar XE.

In 2014, the XE was the first vehicle in the world to use aluminium alloy grade RC5754, which contains up to 75 % recycled aluminium, for its body panels.

Half of the XE body structure is made of aluminium alloy grades that contain an important amount of recycled aluminium content. This is made possible by a closed-loop manufacturing system at its plants in the UK and Slovakia.

Gaëlle Guillaume, REALITY lead project manager at JLR (www.jaguarlandrover.com), said: “More than a million cars are crushed every year in the UK, and this pioneering project affords us a real opportunity to give some of them a second life.

“Aluminium is a valuable material and a key component in our manufacturing process, so we’re committed to ensuring that our use of it is as responsible as possible.”