Automakers and the plastics industry have joined forces to create a master list of the chemicals within polymers, aimed at easing the future use of resins in the auto industry.
The Global Automotive Shareholders Group announced Feb. 17 that it has created the first global declarable-substance list for automotive plastics, providing a single source for carmakers tracking additives to meet government regulations.
``Everybody has been doing this on their own for years,'' said Bruce Kuiken, vice president of the Arlington, Va.-based American Plastics Council, and an organizer of the effort. ``This is about standardization, which is much more cost- and time-efficient.''
The effort was sparked by Europe's end-of-life vehicle-recycling program, which requires that automakers know more about the plastics going into their vehicles.
Previously, companies duplicated each other's efforts, and some resin suppliers worried they would be forced to give up trade secrets for specific compounds. The declarable-substance list provides the required details without giving up proprietary information, and eases potential red tape that could hinder plastics use.
Now carmakers can access the list for a specific chemical element, and tell at a glance whether it falls under the guidelines for its use in Asia, North America or Europe.
``The GASG brought together a fragmented group of stakeholders each doing their own thing and transformed them into supporters of and enthusiasts for a global process that satisfies the environmental and health requirements of automotive materials,'' said Christoph Bauspiess, manager of basic chemical issues for DaimlerChrysler AG and a member of the group's steering committee.
The work is continuing, Kuiken said. As the group fine-tunes its list, it will target resins used heavily in the auto industry for continued emphasis, and note any changes in regulations affecting them.