Metals from an End of Life Vehicle
The result of a 400-vehicle trial carried out by the DTI was that metal recovery currently amounts to 75% of the weight of ELVs being processed in the UK. The proportion of plastics used in the car manufacturing has increased. An average new car in 1984 contained 8.5% by weight of plastics; a similar car today contains around 11%.
It is difficult to recover the material from chrome plate. In this respect a reduction in use of the element e.g. in chrome-plated adornments in motor vehicles, and replacement by other materials, has aided overall rates of recovery.
The metal is found within waste from end of life vehicles. Density separation and ECS (Eddy Current Separation) is used to separate metallics from non-metallics. Further processing uses magnets to separate out any residual ferrous content.
The use of zinc has increased rapidly over the last century and a half. Zinc is used in galvanizing for brass in brake linings from which it is difficult to recover the metal.