Assessment of environmental performance of shaped tube electrolytic machining (STEM) and capillary drilling (CD) of superalloys

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E-pub ahead of print


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Original languageEnglish
JournalCIRP Annals: Manufacturing Technology
Early online date6 May 2017
StateE-pub ahead of print - 6 May 2017


This paper presents an environmental impact assessment of two specialised electrochemical machining processes, STEM and CD, which are used for making cooling holes in turbine blades for aerospace applications. An industry friendly data collection framework was developed taking insights from CO2PE! and ISO 14044:2006 for ascertaining unit process lifecycle inventories (UPLCI). The ‘ReCiPe2008’ LCA method was used to analyse the environmental impact from a holistic point of view, the contribution from each inventory item, and the impact at the endpoint level. An uncertainty analysis was also performed to assess and improve the credibility of the findings.


  • electro chemical machining (ECM), environmental damage, unit process life cycle inventory (UPLCI)