ELVs are mainly composed of ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals, precious metals (catalyst agents), electronic equipment, glass, automotive plastics, etc. Among those, scrap steel and other ferrous metals account for more than 70%, non-ferrous metals such as copper and aluminum account for 6%, and other materials approximate 20%. The recycling rate of scrap iron, steel and non-ferrous metals top 90% while the rate for glass, plastic and other materials can reach more than 50%.
ELVs can be seen as a treasure trove of steel scrap metal. According to the statistics, ferrous material in the traditional vehicles accounts for more than 70% of the vehicle weight, making it an important raw materials source of steel-making and non-ferrous metals smelting industry. Hence, it is no surprise that many countries attach a great deal of importance to the dismantling and recycling of ELVs.
With the development of science and technology and economy of society, copper and its alloys are widely used in electronics, electrical power, instruments and other daily products. Automotive parts (such as electrical wires, integrated circuit lead wires and other electronic components, etc.) all contain copper materials, thus copper recovery has become an important part of resource recycling and cyclic utilization.
Lightweight is an important means of energy-saving and emission-reduction in automotive industries. Therefore, this has inevitably led to a large number applications of aluminum alloys on vehicles. Currently aluminum alloys applications on automobiles include aluminum alloy panels for covering vehicles; cast aluminum parts; extrusion profiles; forging aluminum alloys; aluminum wires / aluminum alloy composite materials etc.
The plastics commonly found in automotive products mainly include polypropylene (PP), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene copolymer (ABS), polyethylene (PE), nylon (PA), polycarbonate (PC), methyl methacrylate (PMMA) and some alloy plastics.
Waste tires are a renewable resource which could be considered as a "black goldmine". They contain 22%-24% of nylon and other synthetic fibers which can be processed into plastic products;16%-24% of steel wires acting as high quality raw materials of springs; 58%-60% of a rubber mixture which can be used for producing rubber powder and de-vulcanized rubber compounds. Materials recovered from waste tires and its byproducts can be widely used in the rubber, chemical industries, transportation, and urban construction and other critical areas of the economy, therefore making them an important secondary resource.
The glass of scrapped automobiles mainly comes from the lamp, mirror and cabs. Due to technical performance issues, the quality of recycled glass is lower than that of the original material for automotive products, therefore they are mainly used for making all kinds of glass bottles or other glass-made products.