The Raw Materials of Cars

These days we may take our cars for granted. They seem like an everyday part of life but they are, in fact, complex machines constructed carefully from a number of different raw materials. This means that vehicle recycling is a more complicated process than it may seem at first glance. So, do you know what goes into your car?

Car Production


Metals make up the largest part of the car as steel and aluminium is used in the visible body as well as in many of the non-visible elements such as the chassis.

Steel is particularly strong and hard-wearing, so it is a perfect material for automobiles. However, aluminium is lighter and even stronger than steel, so it’s popular in vehicles, particularly high-end cars. Aluminium has a larger price tag, so it is not used quite as widely as steel.

There are a number of electrical elements within a car, from the electric windows to the radio. These elements use copper wiring which transmits the electrical messages required.

As a ferrous metal, recycling steel is a relatively simple process as it is susceptible to corrosion. Aluminium and copper, on the other hand, are non-ferrous metals, so they don’t corrode so easily.  We at Morecambe Metals, specialise in working with aluminium and copper, so we have a number of techniques that allow us to produce recycled material.


Plastic is an incredibly versatile and useful material that is used prominently in the interior of a car. It is a particularly lightweight material, so it offers an excellent benefit for car manufacturers looking to make cars that are strong, yet lightweight and fast.

Car Dashboard


While rubber is used to make car tyres, you may overlook the fact that is used for more than this. This durable material is also used for door seals and even belts that provide movement within the engine.


The glass industry has particularly strong ties with the automotive industry as this material is not only used for windows and windscreens, but also in mirrors, cameras and dashboard display screens. Modern cars, perhaps, use even more glass products than those produced just 10 years ago.

You can also find fiberglass in many cars as an insulation material.


Of course, a car wouldn’t be complete without the use of various fibres that go into the interior. These fibres are necessary for everything from the seats to the carpets and may include cotton, leather and polyester.

When we receive a vehicle for vehicle recycling, we must separate all of these materials in order to properly recycle any element that we can. You can read more about why it’s so important to recycle vehicles on a recent blog post.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team if you would like to discuss any of our services. You can call us on 01524 69191 or drop us an email at and we will be more than happy to advise you further.