MQL versus Dry Machining - a Comparative Analysis in a Turning Process using LCA

University essay from KTH/Skolan för kemi, bioteknologi och hälsa (CBH)

Abstract: During the last decades the challenge of sustainability has become more urgent and environmental impacts of different processes in manufacturing industry have received more attention. Life cycle assessment (LCA) has become an important and useful tool to evaluate the environmental impact of products and processes. In this study the environmental impact of two cooling techniques in a turning process has been evaluated using LCA. Turning is used for shaping metal parts by removing material. The compared cooling techniques in this study are dry cutting and Minimum Quantity Lubrication (MQL). The inputs and output in each technique are considered in form of material flows and energy consumption as well as waste flows. The Ecoinvent database has been used in order to quantify, evaluate and compare the environmental impacts of the two cooling techniques. Environmental impact categories considered in this study are Carbon footprint (CO2 kg equivalent), Cumulative Energy Demand (CED), Total eco-cost in Euro and ReCiPe. ReCiPe is a method used to evaluate multiple environmental impact categories and it covers impact categories related to human health, ecotoxicity and material depletion. Calculations and analysis of the results show that MQL has significantly lower environmental impact compared to dry cutting whereas energy consumption is the main contributor in the considered environmental impact categories.

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