Laser sintering system manufacturer EOS, in collaboration with aerospace company EADS Innovation Works (IW), has started work on a study to understand the potential of the direct metal laser-sintering (DMLS) process to generate energy and raw material savings.
The two entities decided to carry out a collaborative environmental study after comparing the results of two previous studies. The first, conducted by EADS IW, showed that energy consumption during the use-phase of aircraft components produced using DMLS dropped significantly. That’s because the net-shape structures produced via DMLS often weigh less than the parts they replace, thus reducing fuel consumption and C02 emissions, the company says. Meanwhile, a parallel study conducted by EOS, which involved a product carbon footprint (PCF) calculation of one kilogram of sintered material, supported this research. It showed that the greatest impact on reducing CO2 emissions and energy consumption is found during the use-phase of laser-sintered components. The research also showed other savings resulting from the processes’ use of relatively few raw materials.
The companies will complete a full lifecycle assessment (LCA) covering energy consumption, material use, CO2 emissions and use of hazardous material to benchmark an optimized design for use with EOS’ new EOSINT M 280 metal system platform. Results are expected to show improvements in sustainable performance in not only the component, but also the manufacturing process.