Emergy-based life-cycle assessment (Em-LCA) for sustainability assessment: a case study of laser additive manufacturing versus CNC machining

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sustainability of laser additive manufacturing needs to be evaluated for finding an optimal compromise between technical development and sustainable performance. The emergy-based life-cycle assessment (Em-LCA) methodology is applied to investigate the sustainability of laser engineered net shaping (LENS) by comparing that of the computer numerical control (CNC) machining for gear manufacturing. Based on the emergy accounting methodology, the emergy-based sustainability index (ESI) is constructed to indicate the sustainability of the two technologies. In addition, contributions of different processes in the two manufacturing options to the final sustainability have been identified for future improvement. The results indicate that Em-LCA offers a practical sustainability assessment tool. The sustainability of the LENS process is much higher than that of the CNC machining. In the end, several countermeasures are proposed to improve the sustainability of the manufacturing technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4109-4120
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Volume102
Issue number9-12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 19 2019

Keywords

  • CNC machining
  • Emergy-based life-cycle assessment
  • Laser additive manufacturing
  • Sustainability assessment

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