Mazda Makes New Fascias with Recycled Ones

With the exception of things like pre-MY 2009 Saturn vehicles, if you think about it, the largest plastic pieces on vehicles are the fascias.

With the exception of things like pre-MY 2009 Saturn vehicles, if you think about it, the largest plastic pieces on vehicles are the fascias.

Mazda Motor Corp. in Japan is now taking scrapped fascias from end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) and using them as raw material for new rear fascias for its Japan-market Mazda Biante, which is a tall wagon.

According to Mazda, this makes it the first automaker in the world to do so.

What’s interesting about this development is that it isn’t something that the company started working on recently in order to enhance its “green” credentials.

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Japan-market Mazda Biante

Mazda has been collecting damaged fascias since 1992. In the early days, these were recycled and used for vehicle undercovers (after all, unless you’re a mechanic, you’re not likely to see those parts.)

During the 1990s Mazda engineers recognized that it would be useful to design the fascias for recyclability, which meant, in part, design for disassembly, as well as eliminating things that would have to be removed prior to recycling from the components.

In 2001 they developed mechanical paint removal technology, and by 2002, they improved the paint removal rate from 98% to 99%. In 2003 Mazda in collaboration with Satake Corp. developed an optical selection mechanism and improved the paint removal capability to 99.9%.

All of this work has helped not only improve the economies of using the recycled materials, but also helps improve their mechanical properties.

Now Mazda is collaborating with two other Hiroshima-based companies, Yamako Corp. and Takase Gosei Kagaku Corp., for the collection and processing of fascias from ELVs. As a result, Mazda says the cost of the recycled plastic is less than the cost of new plastic material.

At present, the company is using 10% recycled material in each of the rear fascias for the Biantes.