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Influence of Composition on the Environmental Impact of a Cast Aluminum Alloy
Patricia Gómez 1 , Daniel Elduque 2 , Judith Sarasa 3 , Carmelo Pina, 1 Carlos Javierre 2 , Richard Thackray, Carmelo Pina Gadea
1  BSH Electrodomésticos España, S.A., Avda. de la Industria, 49, Zaragoza 50016, Spain;(P.G.);(C.P.)
2  2i+ (i3A), Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Zaragoza, C/María de Luna, 3, Zaragoza 50018, Spain
3  Department of Chemical Engineering and Environmental Technologies, Environmental Sciences Institute (IUCA), University of Zaragoza, C/María de Luna, 3, Zaragoza 50018, Spain

Published: 25 May 2016 by MDPI in Materials
MDPI, Volume 9; 10.3390/ma9060412
Abstract: The influence of alloy composition on the environmental impact of the production of six aluminum casting alloys (Al Si12Cu1(Fe), Al Si5Mg, Al Si9Cu3Zn3Fe, Al Si10Mg(Fe), Al Si9Cu3(Fe)(Zn) and Al Si9) has been analyzed. In order to perform a more precise environmental impact calculation, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) with ReCiPe Endpoint methodology has been used, with the EcoInvent v3 AlMg3 aluminum alloy dataset as a reference. This dataset has been updated with the material composition ranges of the mentioned alloys. The balanced, maximum and minimum environmental impact values have been obtained. In general, the overall impact of the studied aluminum alloys varies from 5.98 × 10−1 pts to 1.09 pts per kg, depending on the alloy composition. In the analysis of maximum and minimum environmental impact, the alloy that has the highest uncertainty is AlSi9Cu3(Fe)(Zn), with a range of ±9%. The elements that contribute the most to increase its impact are Copper and Tin. The environmental impact of a specific case, an LED luminaire housing made out of an Al Si12Cu1(Fe) cast alloy, has been studied, showing the importance of considering the composition. Significant differences with the standard datasets that are currently available in EcoInvent v3 have been found.
Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment, material composition, environmental impact, Aluminum alloy, Luminaire Housing
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