Lifecycle Analysis of Forged Products

University essay from KTH/Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM)

Abstract: Sustainability is a major focus for the industry considering the awareness among the public and legislators due to climate change. Automotive manufacturers use many steel products for assembly of vehicles and, many of these products; particularly the heavy and critical components like Front Axle beams and Crankshafts are manufactured using forging process. Due to increased awareness and regulations, all companies are expected to provide environmental impact data relevant to their products. Nonetheless, providing environmental impact data is not yet a common practice in the manufacturing industry, specifically in case of the forged products. Therefore, this thesis aims to establish a comprehensive study of environmental impacts of products namely Heavy vehicle Front Axle Beams, Heavy vehicle Crankshafts, Passenger car Crankshafts and Heavy vehicle steering arms forged at Bharat Forge Kilsta AB and create a baseline for current impact calculations as well as highlight areas for improvement in the future. Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) is used as the method to study the environmental impacts of the forged products. The LCA method in this case is based on ISO 14044 and ILCD Handbook and the impact assessment methods used are EPD (2018) and Cumulative Energy Demand (LHV) v1.0 in accordance with EPD International’s requirements. This research finds that steel and the electricity used in the forging process are the major causes of environmental impacts. To ensure high accuracy of the results of this study, primary data for both steel and electricity is used in the analysis. The LCA results will be published in the form of Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). The CO2 footprint for an average product was found to be 0.89 kg CO2 / kg forged product. Previous studies have utilised average datasets for calculating environmental impacts of forged products which reduce the accuracy of the results. This study, due to the inclusion of primary data of steel manufacturing and electricity generation, provides highly accurate environmental impact results of forged products.

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