For some time now there has been a concerted move in Europe especially among the major manufacturers to ensure that a large proportion of their cars and manufactured with automotive components that lend themselves to be easily recyclable. This doesn’t mean that they are not using new virgin material or that the environment will not be damaged in their manufacture, it means that impact subsequent to their use and scrapping will be mitigated as these components may be more readily recycled into other material
Where rubber components are concerned the situation tends to get a little murky. I guess they assume it will be converted to some kind of crumb and then used as filler in some other really low rent application. Given the state of technology until now I guess one can’t really blame them for the less than challenging approach, raw material costs have been spiralling regardless of tightening margins. Manufacturers have generally resorted to recycling as in the form of the lowest common denominator to reduce cost, no environmentally flags flying here.
The sad thing is that high specification automotive components that used to be manufactured from rubber are being replaced by cheaper alternatives produced from petroleum based products to really ensure that we never catch up.
So I thought that we should change the rules a bit. Lets not look at what they big boy are talking about doing but look at what really is the best that can be done, given what is possible with the latest contribution from SRI and actually do it.
To make it interesting we take and older classic, souped-up so the rubber based automotive components in it are made of high specification high performance rubber components. For this purpose I thought a BMW635CSI would do the job nicely. Off course at some point one will take the car from being a muscular 635 on steroids to an M635CSI but in the mean time lets start with basics.
I propose to take every rubber component in the car out and replace it gradually with rubber automotive components produced from compounds with varying degrees of activated compound in them. This means brand new rubber automotive components manufactured with substantial recycled content.