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Critical evaluation of the material characteristics and environmental potential of laser beam melting processes for the additive manufacturing of metallic components

  • Nowadays, the main impetus to apply additive manufacturing (AM) of metals is the high geometric flexibility of the processes and its ability to produce pilot or small batch series. In contrast, resource and energy intensities are often not considered as constraints, even though the turnout of additive manufacturing is high, at least compared to chip removing processes. The study at hand analyses the material characteristics and environmental impacts of a hose nozzle as an example of a commercial product of simple geometry. The production routes turning (conventional manufacturing) and laser beam melting (additive manufacturing) are compared to each other in terms of natural resource use, climate change potential and primary energy demand.Nowadays, the main impetus to apply additive manufacturing (AM) of metals is the high geometric flexibility of the processes and its ability to produce pilot or small batch series. In contrast, resource and energy intensities are often not considered as constraints, even though the turnout of additive manufacturing is high, at least compared to chip removing processes. The study at hand analyses the material characteristics and environmental impacts of a hose nozzle as an example of a commercial product of simple geometry. The production routes turning (conventional manufacturing) and laser beam melting (additive manufacturing) are compared to each other in terms of natural resource use, climate change potential and primary energy demand. It is found, that the product shows a lower demand for natural resources when produced via AM, but higher carbon emissions and energy demand when using a steel, that is mainly (80%) produced from high-alloyed steel scrap. However, different case studies during the sensitivity analyses showed that a number of factors highly influence the results: the steel source as well as the source of electricity play a major role in determining the environmental performance of the production routes. The authors also found that other production processes (here cold forging of tubes) might be an eco-friendly alternative to both routes, if feasible from an economic point of view. In regard to the material characteristics, experimental testing revealed that the material advantages of AM produced hose nozzles (in particular higher yield strength) are reduced after a solution heat treatment is applied to the as-produced material, in order to increase corrosion resistance. However, products that do not require this production step might benefit from the higher yield strength, as a lower wall thickness could be realised.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Document Type:Peer-Reviewed Article
Author:Jens Teubler, Sebastian Weber, Paul Suski, Irma Peschke, Christa Liedtke
Year of Publication:2019
Language:English
Source Title (English):Journal of cleaner production
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.117775
Volume:237
Division:Nachhaltiges Produzieren und Konsumieren
Dewey Decimal Classification:600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften