Economic and Environmental Potential of Wire-Arc Additive Manufacturing

Manuel Dias, João P. M. Pragana, Bruna Ferreira, Inês Ribeiro, Carlos M. A. Silva
2022 Sustainability  
Since its creation, Additive Manufacturing (AM) has experienced a tremendous growth particularly over the last decade due to the industrial paradigm shift intended for improving conventional manufacturing procedures. This work is focused on an emerging AM process known as Wire-Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) to assess its potential for further applications involving metallic costumer-oriented parts. Contrary to most AM processes, WAAM allows deposition of material layer-by-layer to be
more » ... shed under high deposition rates, low production times and near 100% material efficiency using accessible equipment. The work stems from evaluating the economic viability in the production of parts by WAAM as an alternative for conventional processes such as those used in traditional subtractive approaches. For that purpose, a process-based cost model (PBCM) was developed for estimating production costs using a strong technological approach. The PBCM was tested with the production of a case study part by WAAM and its environmental impact was further assessed through life cycle assessment (LCA). Results show that WAAM can be economically and environmentally viable within specific industrial contexts. Moreover, further developments and optimizations of process variables and equipment will allow this technology to mature into tackling novel production challenges in a time and cost-effective manner.
doi:10.3390/su14095197 fatcat:33nycsd4jnbazec5uxex337xy4