Modelling of environmental impacts of printed self-healing products

Cseke, Akos, Haines-Gadd, Merryn, Mativenga, Paul, Charnley, Fiona, Thomas, Bradley and Perry, Justin (2022) Modelling of environmental impacts of printed self-healing products. Science of the Total Environment, 807 (Part 2). p. 150780. ISSN 0048-9697

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Products utilising self-healing materials have the potential to restore some of their function following damage, thereby extending the product lifespan and contributing to waste prevention and increased product safety. Despite the growing interest in these products, there a lack of comprehensive studies on the environmental implications of self-healing products and the parameters that influence impacts. The study presented in this paper combined life cycle assessment combined with a Taguchi experimental design and analysis of variance to investigate the effect of various parameters across the life stages of a self-healing composite product manufactured by 3D printing using poly-lactic acid (PLA) and self-healing polyurethane (PU). The results of this study suggests that impacts are primarily affected by avoided production due to the increased service of the product, followed by electricity requirements and material deposition rate (efficiency) of 3D printing. In the case of water consumption raw material manufacturing of PLA and PU are the highest and hence should be a target for research on reducing their water footprint. When comparing self-healing vs. regular products it is evident that most of the impacts are dominated by the electricity consumption of the manufacturing process. These results suggest that maximising avoided production can play a major role in reducing impacts of 3D printed products. The results are important for maximising the circularity of additive manufacturing products while minimising their life cycle impact.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded project on New Industrial Systems: Manufacturing Immortality (EP/R020957/1). The authors are also grateful to the Manufacturing Immortality consortium.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Environmental impacts, Life cycle assessment, Self-healing, Product, 3D printing
Subjects: F900 Others in Physical Sciences
G900 Others in Mathematical and Computing Sciences
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2021 13:39
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2022 08:00

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