DETROIT - Arco Chemical Co. has developed a process to recycle glass-reinforced styrene maleic anhydride from industrial scrap. Arco of Newtown Square, Pa., said in a paper delivered at the SAE International Congress on Feb. 27 it has blended SMA trim offal and SMA from rejected, composite foam instrument panels with virgin SMA.
As a result, Arco said Ford Motor Co.'s Automotive Comp-onents Division has established a worldwide material specification that defines the optimum amount of SMA production offal that can be used to make instrument panels for its cars.
The damaged or rejected instrument panels are made of a glass-reinforced SMA substrate, a layer of urethane foam and a skin made from a PVC/ABS blend. The entire scrap instrument panel is ground to a uniform size, then the SMA, urethane foam and PVC/ABS blend are separated by a two-stage density differential technique.
The company said its separation process yields a glass-reinforced SMA that is 99.8 percent pure.
Also, Arco said it has recovered polymethylmethacrylate from the production of taillamp and other automotive lenses, and compounded the PMMA with the recovered SMA to produce new instrument panels.