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Recycling of instrument panels from end-of-life vehicles

Are you interested in sustainable materials and a circular use of materials? Would you like to contribute to developing processes that make more plastic recyclable? RISE IVF is looking for a student with an interest in polymeric materials and their recycling for a master thesis project.

Project goal
The aim of the diploma work is to build knowledge on how the materials circularity can increase for interior vehicle components and to investigate their use as sources for recycled plastic in new components

Background and purpose
Recycling of plastics and use of recycled plastic is necessary in order to achieve a sustainable production and use of resources. This is part of the shift towards a circular economy which includes circular use of materials. The topic is relevant for the vehicle industry and Volvo Cars recently announced a strategy with the target of 25% recycled plastic in all cars from 2025. Interior vehicle components such as instrument panels contains a lot of plastics and could be suitable as a source for recycled plastics. These interior components will, after vehicle fragmentation be part of the light shredder fraction of end-of-life vehicles (ELV) that today is incinerated or goes to landfill.

This diploma work is a part of the research project Sustainable Vehicle Interior Solutions (SVIS) that is performed with financial support from the program Strategic Vehicle Research and Innovation (FFI).  RISE IVF together with Volvo Cars and a large number of companies within the automotive business are investigating the possibilities to find circular material loops and enable more use of recycled plastics and other materials in the cars.

About the project
The objective of this diploma work is to study the recyclability of instrument panels from ELV by simulating the recycling process, and to develop the properties by suitable upgrading steps or use of additives. The core in an instrument panel is often long glass fiber thermoplastic composite which means that recycling will result in glass fibre degradation. The issues of composite properties, fiber length and adhesion to matrix when recycling will be studied.The target is to use the recycled material in a new component i.e to match the otained properties against specific requirements.

Some of the issues that will be addressed include:

  • How should a simulated recycling be performed?
  • Investigation of mechanical and thermal properties of the aged and recycled instrument panels and comparison against unaged material.
  • How can material properties of a recycled thermoplastic composite be matched against the specification of a new component? Interior or exterior application?
  • How do we work with upgrading vs blend with virgin materials?

Scope: 30 hp

Location: RISE IVF AB, Argongatan 30, Mölndal (south of Göteborg)

Who are you?
For this degree project, the student should have background knowledge in chemistry, polymer, and plastic materials. Possible education programs include, but are not limited to, chemistry, chemical engineering, or other background with focus on material science.

Additional information
The project will be performed at RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, in Mölndal, as part of a research project with Volvo Cars and a number of subcontractors. RISE is managing the project and performs part of the research. RISE testbed for Plastics recycling (https://www.ri.se/en/test-demo/test-bed-for-recycling-of-plastics) with equipment for mechanical recycling will be used for performing experiments. Equipment for materials characterization is part of the test bed.

Welcome with your application!
For more information, please contact:

Karin Lindqvist, Researcher, Polymers and Composites, +46 (0)70 780 6262; Karin.lindqvist@ri.se

Philip Gillgard, Project Manager, Fibre development, +46 (0)10 228 48 00; Philip.gillgard@ri.se

Application deadline: 2021-10-31. The application should include your academic CV and a small description of yourself. Applications will be evaluated continuously, and the start date will be agreed with the successful applicant.

Om jobbet




Visstidsanställning 3-6 månader

Job type

Student - examensarbete/praktik


Karin Lindqvist
+46 (0)70 780 6262



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