Even if cars soon start running entirely on electricity or hydrogen, they'll still need 100 gallons or more of oil to make their plastic parts, such as seats, dashboards, bumpers, and engine components. And some day that plastic may be recycled back into fuel.
However, steel is still the single most important material in cars. It is strong, durable and malleable. On the flip side, though, it is relatively heavy. For this reason, car manufacturers have been trimming down on its use.Another option is to recover the energy from discarded plastic parts. The company Plas2fuel, based in Washington state, can make a gallon of oil from melting down 8 pounds of plastic. In March, this process was used by Oregon-based Agri-Plas to turn plastic waste into 8,200 gallons of oil.
The moisture conditioning process takes many forms. Some simply pour a prescribed amount of water into molded parts contained in a moisture-proof package such as a polybag. Others prefer placing saturated paper towels into the package with the nylon parts and allowing the water to migrate out of the paper and into the nylon. Some go as far as boiling the parts. This not only increases the moisture uptake rate, but also ensures that the moisture is absorbed more uniformly throughout the wall of the part.This experience contradicts a lot of the data published by material suppliers showing the conditioned moisture content at 2.5%. But much of this early work was performed using accelerated techniques that had a tendency to introduce more moisture into the polymer than it could hold in the long term. Field experience shows that values of 1.5% for an unfilled material are much closer to the norm.
It is also important to emphasize that this value is by weight of polymer. If a material contains 33% glass fiber, then one-third of the polymer has been replaced by an inorganic material that is not hygroscopic, and therefore the amount of water that this compound can hold will be proportionally lower.