Electrodischarge machining (EDM) plays a significant role in the precision machining of super alloys and the die/mould manufacturing industry and hence warrants the study of its environmental impact and sustainability. However, process level data for unconventional machining practices are limited in the available Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) databases. This paper aims to accumulate process level LCI data for EDM and to assess the environmental impact using life cycle analysis. The method of assessment takes insights from ISO 14040 and the CO2PE initiative. Data from industrial case studies relating to diesinking EDM and wire EDM of steel and aluminium alloys are used. Environmental impact is calculated using the resultant LCI data and supplementary data from the Ecoinvent database. The ReCePi endpoint method is used in the impact assessment, enabling comparisons among environmental performances. Recommendations for improvements during the design phase of machine tools and the operational phase of the machines are given.
- environmental impact