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A design framework for increased value recovery from end-of-life vehicles

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posted on 2011-02-10, 11:48 authored by Christopher Edwards
This thesis reports on the research undertaken to increase the value recovery from end-of-life vehicles through the improvement of design practices. The principle objective of this research is to generate a design framework which incorporates end-of-life data and knowledge during the design process to improve the financial viability of vehicle recycling. The research contributions are divided into three major parts. The first part reviews relevant literature in both vehicle recovery and design, examines the legislative requirements and assesses current practices. The second introduces the assessment of recovery factors through a 'Design for End-of-Life Vehicles' framework which incorporates a vehicle design assessmenmt odel, a post fragmentation material analysis model, and a modular design improvement model. These models implement the concept of 'Design for Shredding' investigated by this research, which aims to identify contaminating materials and facilitate their removal through design improvement. The final part demonstrates the application of this concept through the generation of case studies. The application of the Design for End-of-Life Vehicles framework has shown that the vehicle design assessment model can accurately identify assemblies that are highly complex and inaccessible, and therefore difficult to disassemble. In addition, the post fragmentation material analysis model has demonstrated the ability to detect problem materials' and, through their removal, enhance the purity and value of material fractions. Finally, the modular design improvement investigated by this research provides a method by which end-of-life data and knowledge can effectively influence vehicle architecture and encourage reuse and pre fragmentation disassembly for material recycling. In summary, this research has provided practical and powerful models and tools to improve the economics of vehicle recycling through the design process, thus ensuring the long term sustainability of the vehicle recovery sector.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© C.J. Edwards

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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