Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) says it is developing the next phase of its aluminium closed loop strategy.
The camaker aims to recover aluminium from existing JLR vehicles and reform it into a new high-grade aluminium to create new vehicles. The process is currently being tested on early, pre-production Jaguar I-Pace prototypes which have had their batteries removed. The scrap from the vehicles is sorted into various materials using high-tech sensors by Axion. Once separated, the aluminium scrap is melted and reformed. When operating at full capacity, the new recycling scheme (called ‘Reality’) is expected to reduce the CO2 impact of production while reducing the amount of virgin aluminium required to produce vehicles.
The project, co-funded by Innovate UK, is helping Jaguar Land Rover extend its closed loop aluminium economy. Between September 2013 and January 2019, around 300,000 tonnes of closed-loop scrap have been processed back into the brand’s lightweight aluminium intensive architecture, across all vehicle lines including XE.
In 2014, Jaguar XE was the first vehicle in the world to use aluminium alloy grade RC5754 for its body panels, which contains up to 75 percent recycled aluminium. Half of the XE body structure is made of aluminium alloy grades that contain an important amount of recycled aluminium content – made possible by a closed-loop manufacturing system at JLR’s UK and Slovakia facilities.
Gaëlle Guillaume, lead project manager, Reality at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “More than a million cars are crushed every year in the UK and this pioneering project affords us a real opportunity to give some of them a second life. Aluminium is a valuable material and a key component in our manufacturing process and as such we’re committed to ensuring our use of it is as responsible as possible.”
The recycled aluminium is being put through its paces by Brunel University scientists, who have conducted strength tests and graded its purity to ensure it meets the required mechanical standards to be used in body panels right across the Jaguar and Land Rover ranges.