From bottle to fabric: Seat upholstery made of PET
Sustainability is a central pillar in the Audi corporate strategy. Seat upholstery made from secondary raw materials are being used for the first time in the fourth generation of the Audi A3. This results in fabrics that guarantee the same quality standards in terms of look and feel as conventional textile upholstery.
Turning the old into the new
The bottle disappears in the hole of the reverse vending machine, and the customer in Germany gets €0.25. While still in the shop, the disposable bottles are compressed for truck transport in order to save space. Once they have arrived at the recycling plant, they are sorted by color, size and quality. A mill then crushes the bottles into flakes, which are washed, dried and melted down. Once they have dried, a machine chops them into small pieces. This results in granulate, otherwise known as recyclate, and this undergoes extrusion to create threads.
More than 100 PET bottles in a single A3
The goal is clear: The percentage of recycled material in the Audi fleet is to rise considerably in the coming years. At present, the seat upholstery is not yet made completely of recyclable material. “It is our goal to make the seat upholstery completely from unmixed material so that it can be recycled again. We are no longer very far away from this.” In the long term, all seat upholstery across all model series will be made of recycled material.
Three recycled covers on offer
There are three different material designs for the Audi A3; they have an up to 89% share of recycled material. One of these is the steel gray material “Torsion” for the design selection on which yellow contrasting stitching creates visual highlights. In the S line, it features the black and silver color combination and is accentuated by rock gray contrasting stitching. Later on, it follows in black and red with contrasting stitching.
Feb 25, 2020 at 13:06