Comparative study for environmental performances of traditional manufacturing and directed energy deposition processes

Zhichao Liu, Qiuhong Jiang, Weilong Cong, Tao Li, Hong Chao Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Additive manufacturing is considered more sustainable than traditional manufacturing due to its efficient energy and materials usage. However, previous literature indicates that this suggestion is applicable only for the polymer materials, and the environmental issues of additive manufacturing with metallic materials are still not clear. With the method of life cycle assessment, this paper analyzes and compares the energy consumptions and environmental impacts of direct energy deposition and traditional machining processes for a typical metal part. Further, the article attempts to identify the significant issues in the two manufacturing options that contribute most to the environmental impacts. Six environmental impacts were assessed in this study: global warming potential (GWP); acidification potential (AP); eutrophication potential; ozone depletion potential (ODP); photochemical ozone creation potential (POCP); and abiotic depletion potential (ADP). The results show that the gear laser fabrication process consumes more energy and releases more negative emissions compared with traditional gear manufacturing processes. The results of GWP, AP, ODP, ADP and POCP of the traditional gear manufacturing are only 30.33, 43.42, 17, 65.05 and 54.68% of the gear laser fabrication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2273-2282
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Science and Technology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • Environmental impact
  • Laser additive manufacturing
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Traditional manufacturing


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