Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering


Engineering, Automotive.


Frise, P.




Auto manufacturers have set a goal for the technical recyclability and recovery of new vehicles that requires as much as 95% of the vehicle weight to be diverted from landfill in a technically and economically feasible manner. In order that future vehicles achieve this goal, which is in line with the draft European Union End-of-Life Scrap Vehicle Directive, it will be necessary to develop a system to recycle all vehicle electrical wiring harnesses. This paper describes the development of a process that uses a cryogenic method of separating the non-metallic insulation from the metallic conductor material. This thesis investigates the potential for the development of a unique process to recycle automotive wiring harnesses. As part of the design approach, a cryogenic testing chamber was constructed along with a mechanical wire crusher to remove the insulation from the wires. Two tests were performed, which consisted of a "Complete Wiring Harness Test" and a "Wiring Harness Material Test". Analysis of the Complete Wiring Harness Test, revealed that there were certain polymers used on automotive wiring harnesses which were unable to reach their glass transition temperature. Therefore a second test, referred to as The Wiring Harness Material Test, was performed to reveal which materials were unable to reach the glass transition temperature in order to allow for the recovery of copper. Finally, the results and information gained in this research have advanced the possibility of future successful development of a mechanical process to remove the insulation from automotive wiring harnesses, which would allow for the recovery of copper.Dept. of Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2000 .B35. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 40-03, page: 0768. Adviser: Peter Frise. Thesis (M.A.Sc.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2000.