More than 98 kg of components made from resource-conserving materials are used in the S-Class. The number of components containing recyclates is now 120 – more than twice as many as in the preceding model. Another 40 kg or so are made from renewable raw materials. The process of environmentally compatible development with specific targets is firmly embedded in the overall development process. Environmental aspects are already taken into account in the conceptual phase.
Recycling plastic waste and using recycled plastics conserves primary raw materials, while saving energy and CO2 emissions compared to products based on crude oil. The challenge lies in developing plastic recyclates that meet all current technical requirements with respect to safety, quality and functionality.
This has now become possible for the cable ducts that route the electrical lines through the vehicle. This meant testing of various materials made from recycled plastics. One aspect of this testing and development was also testing and perfecting the recyclates with respect to emissions into the interior and odours. The new cable ducts add another 3 kg to the total weight of resource-conserving materials.
Lightweight construction with a natural fibre microsandwich
Lower weight not only reduces the amount of material used, but also the energy needed to move the vehicle. A microsandwich material was developed for the interior of the S-Class, and in most components this is reinforced with natural fibres. It not only weighs 40 percent less than a comparable, conventional component, but its thermal formability also allows use in complex applications and its strength improves crash behaviour compared to previously used materials. In the S-Class, the microsandwich is used in the map pockets in the door panels, in the seat backrest linings and for the parcel shelf. The use of this natural fibre based microsandwich and the resulting weight reduction lead to a lower primary energy requirement from production and use right up to the disposal phase.
Carpeting of recycled Nylon threads
A new, recycled thread is now used for the floor coverings. This thread - brandname Econyl® - consists of regenerated Nylon. It is manufactured by recovering Nylon waste destined for the landfill, for example old fish nets and fabric remnants from mills and carpets. These are collected and transformed into a new thread having the same properties as nylon from new raw materials. The recycling process used to produce the thread saves CO2 in comparison with new production. It also enables Mercedes-Benz to keep materials in circulation.