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Expert Insight

Life Cycle Analysis of LBPF Nickel 718 part

Additive manufacturing has matured and is well established nowadays in industry and research through many improvements within the last years. Of special interest is the Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) technology, since high performance metal components can be manufactured near-net shape.

Nevertheless, the process requires, amongst others, large amounts of energy, raw material in powder shape and is slow compared to conventional machining. This becomes a special challenge when ecological considerations of the technology need to be quantified, since these factors contribute immensely towards a higher associated carbon footprint. Within this paper, the ecological footprint for LPBF manufacturing of an oil and gas component from IN718 powder material, which is produced by 6K's UNIMELT process, is investigated. During LPBF, primary data is being generated at system level and consecutively implemented into a LCA model. For the first time, in-depth analyses allow for reliable evaluation of the carbon footprint in LPBF.

The speaker is:
Bruce Bradshaw, CMO, 6K Additive


  • Mechanical engineering and plant engineering