The trend of the automobile industry to replace heavier metals as construction material with plastics will have an adverse effect on the economics of the scrap industry. Therefore, the present recovery techniques must be reevaluated and new and improved plastic recovery methods developed. The Bureau of Mines, in cooperation with Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corp., conducted research on reclaiming plastics from shredded modern automobile nonmagnetic rejects. A flowsheet was developed which incorporates screening, air classification, water elutriation, and gravity separation to recover a product containing up to 80 pct polyurethane foam and amenable to hydrolysis, and crude plastics concentrates containing varying amounts of polypropylene, acrylonitrile butadiene-styrene, plated abs, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, nylon, and other plastics. Research to separate the plastics in these crude concentrates into individual components by various methods, particularly flotation, is being continued.
Proc. 5th Miner. Waste Util. Symp., Chicago, Illinois, Apr. 13-14, 1976, PP. 386-392