We are pleased to announce that iPoint-system gmbh is project partner of the industrial research project Gabriela (Holistic processing of plastic recycling paths for resource efficient and recyclable lightweight battery cases) coordinated by APK AG.
With the kick-off meeting on August 30, 2022 at the project coordinator APK AG in Merseburg, the first extensive consortium meeting of the project "Holistic processing of plastic recycling paths for resource-efficient and recyclable lightweight battery housings" (Gabriela) after the project start was successfully conducted. Important topics such as the material and process routes were discussed, initial findings from preliminary tests were shared, and the next steps were defined.
The project is motivated by the EU's Green Deal strategy, which aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. An important contribution in the implementation is to be made by the recycling of plastics with a forced high use of plastic recyclates in new products. Functionally integrated lightweight construction with a high proportion of polymer-based materials already plays a central role in CO2 savings in the mobility sector. The use of recyclates in lightweight structures can again significantly expand these savings potentials by reducing the use of primary raw materials and the associated emissions.
However, the use of composite materials such as fiber-reinforced thermoplastics in structurally relevant lightweight components has so far given rise to major reservations regarding their recycling potential. In particular, the mechanical recycling currently used does not succeed in separating the composites from one another. It is not certain whether the shredded material is directly suitable for use as a recyclate or whether the material composite must be completely dissolved. Therefore, it is necessary to develop and present complementary strategies for the use of recyclate and the recycling of thermoplastic-based lightweight components in the mobility sector.
In the Gabriela joint project, the recyclability of pentatonic high-voltage battery housings from the automotive supplier Kautex Textron is being investigated. Plastic recyclate percentages of up to 100% are being evaluated. Among other things, the new adaptive recycling technology Newcycling® from APK AG will be used, which enables a high recyclate quality. In the project, the complete life cycle of a fiber-reinforced plastic battery housing will be investigated, from material production to initial processing, aging in use, and reprocessing to reuse in the same component. In order to best exploit the potential of the novel recycling paths, industrial partners from all plant creation stages and three universities are participating in the project. iPoint, as a specialist in product compliance and sustainability, will use its expertise to conduct the life cycle assessment as an important component of the project. This will enable all relevant data to be collected and evaluated over the entire product life cycle of the fiber-reinforced plastic battery housing and its environmental impact to be analyzed. The cooperation with the research network "Platform FOREL" enables the participating researchers to network across industries and offers optimal scientific as well as economic exploitation opportunities.
The Gabriela research and development project is being funded for three years by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) as part of the Technology Transfer Program for Lightweight Construction (TTP LB) and is being supervised by Project Management Jülich (PTJ).
Learn more about iPoint's participation in research projects here.