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Environmental and Social Life Cycle Assessment of Welding Technologies

: Chang, Y.-J.; Sproesser, G.; Neugebauer, S.; Wolf, K.; Scheumann, R.; Pittner, A.; Rethmeier, M.; Finkbeiner, M.


Procedia CIRP 26 (2015), S.293-298
ISSN: 2212-8271
Global Conference on Sustainable Manufacturing (GCSM) <12, 2014, Johor Bahru/Malaysia>
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Konferenzbeitrag
Fraunhofer IPK ()

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA) are applied in evaluating possible social and environmental impacts of the state-of-art welding technologies, such as Manual Metal Arc Welding (MMAW), Manual Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), Automatic GMAW and Automatic Laser-Arc Hybrid Welding (LAHW). The LCA results indicate that for 1 meter weld seam, MMAW consumes the largest amount of resources (like filler material and coating on electrodes) and energy, which contributes to comparatively higher environmental impacts in global warming potential, acidification, photochemical ozone creation potential and eutrophication than other chosen processes. With regard to social aspects, the health issues and fair salary are under survey to compare the relative potential risk on human health caused by fumes in different welding technologies, and to indicate the sufficiency of current salary of welders in Germany. The results reflect that the wage status of welders is still fair and sufficient. The manual processes bring much higher potential risk of welders’ health than the automatic processes, especially MMAW.