Sustainability of Additive Manufacturing : Electron Beam Melting of IN718

University essay from Högskolan Väst/Avdelningen för Industriell ekonomi, Elektro- och Maskinteknik; Högskolan Väst/Avdelningen för Industriell ekonomi, Elektro- och Maskinteknik

Abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to examine and describe the process of Additive Manufacturing (AM) and the energy use in the production of parts manufactured with the Electron Beam Melting (EBM) technology in particular IN718, which is a Nickel-based superalloy with specification according to UNS n07718 that is used in the aerospace industry. The objectives also include a brief overview of powder bed AM methods and a sustainability analysis. Consequently, this thesis will examine both energy use and the CO2-footprint for the EBM with IN718. The result of this thesis will be used in the SuMan-Next project at the Centre for Production Research, PTC, in Trollhättan where University West conducts research in materials for the Aerospace industry. AM is currently a rapidly expanding area of manufacturing. This process adds the material layer-by-layer, which results in a design freedom and flexibility that is almost impossible for traditional subtracting manufacturing. To examine the energy use, measurements with an electrical network analyzer was performed on the EBM while two different geometries was manufactured. After these measurements, the data was collected and the energy use for the build could be calculated. By doing that, the CO2 footprint for the build could be estimated. A study visit to the AM division of Sandvik Machining Solutions in Sandviken was conducted to observe, investigate and learn more about atomization of metal powder. A small Life-Cycle-Inventory was conducted and the production process could be assessed, to establish the CO2 footprint from material extraction to product. When it comes to CO2 footprint, it is definitely the production of the material before atomization that gives the most CO2 footprint, this thesis can establish that the geometry does matter for the build part and that in these conducted studies it is with a factor 2. However, compared to manufacturing of the powder or/and the build, the bulk material production gives 5-50 times more CO2footprint than the rest of the process. If using more recycled material in the metallurgy instead of virgin, the CO2 footprint will decrease significantly. Recycled material is good to decrease the energy use and CO2 footprint, but also to decrease the mining of the critical elements that are included in the alloys.

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