Environmental impact of conventional manufacturing and additive manufacturing in lifecycle of turbine blade
Torres Carrillo, Sharon Andrea
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The exponential growth of additive manufacturing technologies is not only improving production processes to achieve functional requirements for products, but it could also help to minimize environmental impacts. In order to align a green product lifecycle management vision, companies need to implement emerging technologies and define a set of metrics that measure the benefits of the change. Each product requires a particular and optimized manufacturing process plan, and each production phase must achieve a significant reduction of critical metrics for the whole Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). This study provides a comprehensive and comparative LCA of two manufacturing process plans for the case study of an aircraft engine turbine blade. The first process consists of a combination of Investment Casting and Precision Machining and the second consists in the replacement of Investment casting by Selective Laser Melting as an emergent process for near net shape fabrication. The collected data for the comparison includes Global Warming Potential (GWP), Acidification Potential (AP), Ozone layer Depletion Potential (ODP), Human Toxicity Potential (HTP), Ecotoxicity and Abiotic Depletion Potential (ADP).
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