Audi’s MaterialLoop joint project uses recycled car parts from old cars to make parts for production A4.
The brand said it is building knowledge to close the loop on materials joint such as steel, plastic and glass
The brand also claims it is already using recycled used automotive glass in the production of the Q4 e-tron.
Through PlasticLoop, Audi has also used recycled automotive plastic waste for the series production of the Audi Q8 e-tron.
German luxury carmaker, Audi AG, said it has gained valuable information from its joint MaterialLoop project which reuses post-consumer materials taken from end-of-life vehicles in the production of new cars.
The MaterialLoop is a joint project between the brand with the four rings and 15 partners from the research, recycling, and supplier sectors that aims to use reuse materials taken from customer vehicles at the end of their lifecycle.
As part of the joint MaterialLoop project, 100 vehicles, including among others former development cars were dismantled a back in October 2022 to retrieve targeted components such as larger plastic pieces for recycling.
After disassembly, the remaining car bodies were shredded and sorted into material groups comprising steel, aluminum, plastic, and glass, with the aim of testing their reuse in the production of new cars.
“The MaterialLoop project underscores our ambitious vision to operate a highly efficient circular economy concept for end-of-life vehicles,” says Audi CEO Markus Duesmann.
“It is our goal to recover as many materials as possible at a high level of quality and reuse them in production. This will save valuable primary materials and lower the products’ ecological footprint. Simultaneously, direct access to secondary materials can contribute to increased security of supply. Raw materials would no longer have to be extracted.”
Audi notes that it has already been able to put valuable findings from the pilot MaterialLoop project into practice, with some materials, including recycled steel, now being fed back into automobile production and used in up to 15,000 inner door parts for the Audi A4.
“Our emphasis on cycles within the industry enables us to use our products and the materials they’re made from for as long as possible. Our vision is to rely less on secondary materials from other industries in the future”, explains Johanna Klewitz, head of supply chain sustainability at Audi.
“Besides the technical feasibility of returning materials in the Audi supply chain, improving future generations of Audi vehicles’ ability to be recycled is also in focus.”
Dennis Meinen, expert for circular economy at Audi:
“At its core, circular economy is about handling resources responsibly. Longevity, repairability, and, indeed, our products’ ability to be recycled are thus all in focus.”
Audi also revealed another pilot project it began in 2022, which involves recycling used automotive glass that the brand with the four rings claims it is already using in the production of the Q4 e-tron.
According to Audi, the new glass are made by first breaking up car windows that are beyond repair into small pieces. The resulting glass granulate is then melted down and turned into new plate glass for the automotive industry.
In addition, Audi is also deeply involved in plastics recycling through PlasticLoop, one of the brand’s three plastics recycling projects that it runs with plastics manufacturer, LyondellBasell.
Through PlasticLoop, Audi and LyondellBasell have established a process that employs chemical recycling to reuse mixed automotive plastic waste for the series production of the Audi Q8 e-tron.