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Old 09-12-2003, 13:12   #1 (permalink)
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Japan:Mazda Develops New Paint Stripping Technology for Recycling Bumpers

The Auto Channel
JapanCorp.net

Tokyo, Japan, Sept. 12, 2003 - (JCN Newswire) - Mazda Motor Corporation has developed a new paint stripping process utilizing optical separationtechnology developed in conjunction with local machinery maker SatakeCorporation. Employed in bumper recycling, the new process significantlyincreases the percentage of paint that can be removed from the bumpersurface resulting in strong, high quality material that is suitable for re-use in the manufacturing of new bumpers.

The improved paint stripping process combines optical separation
technology, which removes impure pieces from grains, with the
conventional paint stripping process. After depainting, pellets are
sorted using an optical sensor, which detects those with traces of paint
still attached so that they can be removed. Compared to grains, the
recycled pellets are flat and of various sizes. For this reason, the
process had to be refined to better suit the properties of the pellets.
For example, the pellets are sorted according to size beforehand to
increase the accuracy of separation. As a result, Mazda has successfully
improved the rate of paint removal from 99 percent to around 99.9
percent. In addition, the time required for the overall process of paint
stripping and separation has been reduced by one-third.

Since 1992 Mazda has been collecting damaged bumpers from dealers andrecycling them for use as undershields. In 2001, the automaker utilized paint stripping technology owned by Takase Gosei Kagaku Corporation, a plastics recycling company, to produce recycled material with the same strength as new material, which was used for making bumper reinforcement parts. Furthermore, in 2002 Mazda improved the rate of paint removal from 98 percent to 99 percent and since July 2003, has been using this material in the grained surface bumper of its MPV minivan. In this way, Mazda has continued to expand the use of recycled materials in bumpers.

The improved recycling process expands the future applications of
recyclable materials by producing high quality recyclable material that
can be re-used in the manufacturing of painted bumpers with a smooth
finish. Following further research and testing, Mazda plans to introduce
this new technology into mass produced models in 2004 aiming to utilize
recycled material for around twenty to thirty percent (weight base) of
the bumper material. Recycling technologies are expected to become
increasingly important in the future as carmakers strive to improve the
recyclability of automobiles. Mazda believes that this technology will
provide a strong foundation as the company continues to pursue the
development of further technologies in this field.
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