Energy and material efficiency of steel powder metallurgy

José M.C .Azevedo André Cabrera Serrenho Julian M.Allwood

Concern about global warming motivates the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing but as yet the environmental impact of the whole powder metallurgy production chain has not been assessed. This paper therefore traces the flow of energy and material through the major powder metallurgy processes from liquid steel to final products and assesses the efficiency of both energy and material use. The results show that there is significant opportunity for reducing energy and material requirements in delivering products. Specific opportunities such as avoiding lasers in additive manufacturing or minimizing heat losses in powder sintering are proposed and evaluated.