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BMW Group to Recycle Tungsten in Automotive Production Tools

Posted by: Yoyokuo 2021-07-06 Comments Off on BMW Group to Recycle Tungsten in Automotive Production Tools

BMW Group to Recycle tungsten in Automotive Production Tools

Category: Tungsten’s News
Published on Tuesday, 06 July 2021 00:06

Refer to foreign media reports, the BMW Group has created a closed-loop material cycle to recover tungsten(W) in automotive production tools such as drill bits. For recycling, the company's factories in Germany and Austria are collecting used drill bits and milling heads. This secondary W will be used to manufacture new milling tools and drilling tools.

In this way, the annual W consumption will reduce by 7 tons. Compared with raw materials, it also reduces 70% energy consumption and more than 60% CO2 emissions.

Cemented carbide tools are mainly made of W. For example, at the BMW's plant in Steyr, Austria, it is used for the high-precision machining of electric drive housings. In June 2021, the BMW will gradually start collecting these tool wastes from its factories in Germany and Austria, and will be recycled by the Austrian ore and powder company Wolfram Bergbau und Hütten AG.

BMW Group to Recycle Tungsten in Automotive Production Tools

On average, tool waste contains more than 80% tungsten. It is processed in a special method to produce powdered secondary material. The electricity required comes from 100% renewable local energy.

This dark gray W powder could be used to make new tools. As part of the pilot project, the BMW Group has used a small amount of tool waste to demonstrate the material cycle. In this project, Berlin tool manufacturer Gühring KG used recycled W for automotive production tools to produce novel drill bits and milling drill bits. Some factories of the BMW have begun to use these drills.

After the successful implementation of the pilot project, this material cycle is being expanded to cover carbide tool waste from all factories in Germany and Austria. These factories can produce nearly 9 tons of cemented carbide tool waste each year, which contains an average of more than 7 tons of recyclable W, and around half comes from the BMW's plant in Steyr, Austria.

As early as 2012, BMW has identified some raw materials and other materials in its materials strategy. From the perspective of sustainable development, these materials are particularly important. The Group continues to analyze the impact of these raw materials on the environment and society through the entire supply chain.

Among them, the conflict minerals tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold -3TG, play a special role. The BMW Group’s goal is to work with its suppliers to achieve complete transparency in the 3TG supply chain. And in 2019, almost 100% traceability of 3TG minerals used in parts and tools has been achieved.

The BMW is also working to steadily increase the proportion of certified smelting plants in the tungsten supply chain. The conflict minerals team of the Group will provide suppliers with training, information and support in automotive production tools.

The BMW Group is a member of the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) and is a driving force for the sustainable management of conflict minerals. In order to deepen the understanding of the mineral processing process, the purchasing department of BMW conducts field visits to specific European smelting plants every year. Wolfram Bergbau und Hütten AG is also a member of the responsible Responsible Minerals Initiative.

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