Spanish company Grupo Antolin has released what it claims to be the first headliner substrate produced by thermoforming a PU foam made from urban and post-consumer plastic waste and end-of-life tires.
“This project is a step toward a more sustainable car interior trim and a huge leap for the wet PU technology – a technology that has been demonstrated to be the most competitive in terms of cost and quality, fulfilling at the same time the most demanding specifications from our clients,” said Enrique Fernandez, advanced engineering director of the overhead systems business unit at Grupo Antolin.
According to the company, the headliner looks and performs the same as a traditional part. The material’s manufacturing process has been developed in partnership with BASF and has already been implemented in a premium EV on the European market. Approximately 50% of the headliner material by weight is recycled. Grupo Antolin claims that 100% of the textile, 70% of the core foam and 70% of the plastic sunroof reinforcement frame have been manufactured from residues that couldn’t be recycled in any other way and would have otherwise been dumped in landfills.
“We are going one step further by deploying the strategy among our clients worldwide. Our next project featuring recycled core PU foam will be unveiled in 2022 and it’ll be manufactured using renewable electricity. Our commitment is to reduce the generation of waste and emissions in all our production processes,” added Javier Blanco, Grupo Antolin’s sustainability director.