Environmental energy efficiency of single wire and tandem gas metal arc welding
This paper investigates gas metal arc welding (GMAW) with respect to energy consumption and its associated environmental impacts. Different material transfer modes and power levels for single wire GMAW (SGMAW) and tandem GMAW (TGMAW) are evaluated by means of the indicator electrical deposition efficiency. Furthermore, the wall-plug efficiency of the equipment is measured in order to describe the total energy consumption from the electricity grid. The results show that the energy efficiency is highly affected by the respective process and can be significantly enhanced by a TGMAW process. The wall-plug efficiency of the equipment shows no significant dependency on the power range or the material transfer mode. Moreover, the method of life cycle assessment (LCA) is adopted in order to investigate the influences of energy efficient welding on the environmental impacts. In the comparative LCA study, the demand of electrical energy is reduced up to 24%. In consequence, the indicator values for global warming potential (100), acidification potential, eutrophication potential, and photochemical ozone creation potential are reduced up to 11%.