Recycling aluminum alloys for the automotive industry: Breaking the source-sink paradigm

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Abstract

Aluminum is a major construction material in light-weight vehicles. Today, recycling the aluminum content of end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) is based on dilution with primary metal and downcycling to cast engine blocks. The importance of the latter, however, is expected to lessen due to vehicle electrification. In this study we posit that by altering the common classification of aluminum alloys, it may become possible to deploy ELV scrap as a direct source for upcycling into new wrought alloys. We demonstrate this by examining possible compositions of an average EU car, a pickup truck and an electric car, and the corresponding dismantling scenarios. Our results suggest that alloys with promising properties such as good rollability, yield strengths and elongations comparable to common automotive sheet alloys can be produced directly from ELV scrap to accommodate both the increasing importance of wrought alloys and the passing of cast engine blocks as sink.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107370
Number of pages11
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Volume202.2024
Issue numberJanuary
Early online date18 Dec 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2023

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