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By januar 10, 2023 Nyheder

Analysis of the CO2 footprint along the Additive Manufacturing process chain

Transforming Manufacturing

Rising atmospheric CO2 level and resulting weather phenomena have finally changed the general mind set of people, politics and industry regarding fossil fuel emission over the last 5 years. The majority now strives towards reduced carbon emission and a more sustainable way of living.

In this environment Additive Manufacturing has been promoted as one production technology to reduce emissions and consequently the carbon footprint of the part production and complete product life cycle. However, detailed calculations looking at the complete production route and objective comparisons against conventional manufacturing have been scarce.

A detailed look at the complete process chain

There is no general answer to which manufacturing technology has the lowest carbon footprint. The overall footprint is heavily influenced by the alloy group as well as the part geometry. Complex geometries with high buy-to-fly ratio are favorable for netshape technologies such as AM and casting, while simple parts might be most sustainable if milled. In the framework of this study, AMPOWER developed a Sustainability Calculator for the CO2 footprint. This tool enables the assessment of a variety of alloy and technology combinations as well as customization of the process routes.

 

 

 

Granular break down of energy
consumption and CO2 emission

Considering titanium alloys, AM technologies of PBF can reduce the carbon footprint significantly when compared to milling. Due to the ability to manufacture weight optimized designs, the material input and therefore the embodied energy is significantly smaller and compensates for higher energy consumption in the part manufacturing process. The embodied energy is less prominent for aluminum alloys and stainless steels. A surprisingly positive outlook can be seen for high
productivity Binder Jetting technologies. Achieving a high utilization across the whole process chain from 3D printer to debinding and sintering oven can lead to low carbon footprint of future applications.

 

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