As the automotive OEMs and in general EU companies are forced to prove sustainability and become carbon neutral they forward this challenge to their suppliers. A low environmental impact is starting to become a criterion for suppliers’ selection in addition to pricing and quality.
Life Cycle Assessment is the standard way to assess sustainability, considering all inputs and outputs for the considered process. Previous studies or estimates for sustainability of PM are mainly based on near net shape capability. Energy studies (GKN, 2011) showed dependence on technology, part size, OEE. A first quantitative LCA attempt with the Lighthouse Project (Höganäs, Grundfos) showed the importance of gathering a larger group of companies, to anonymise and average data.
The task of this subgroup is to stimulate activity on this field at the European level to achieve awareness and publishable results that may increase PM appeal among competing processes.
At the moment the group is mainly working to develop the LCA-LAPS Club Project as a first step.
Later further work will include other materials/refinements, and possibly other production routes like MIM, AM, etc.
A lot of CO2 can be saved in the extraction of raw materials and the upstram production of materials and components.
V. Kruzhanov, V. Arnhold, EUROPM2011, Barcelona
Life Cycle Assessment of Low Alloy PM Steels - LCA-LAPS Club Project
- Study limited to water atomised low alloy steel powder and parts made thereof, parts will be divided into 3 weight classes
- Contractors: thinkstep/sphere (LCA company) + PM Solutions and PM Consulting
- Coordination: EPMA
- Objectives: LCA “averaged” public report, plus confidential individual reports for each company and each site
- 1 year, start expected July 2020
For further details, read the news here.