Scrap, carbon and cost savings from the adoption of flexible nested blanking

Flint, I. P.; Allwood, J. M.; Serrenho, A. C.

Steel accounts for 6% of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, most of which arises during steelmaking rather than downstream manufacturing. While improving efficiency in steelmaking has received a great deal of attention, improving material yield downstream can have a substantial impact and has received comparatively less attention. In this paper, we explore the conditions required for manufacturers to switch to a more materially efficient process, reducing demand for steel and thus reducing emissions without reducing the supply of goods to consumers. Furthermore, we present an alternative processing route where parts can be cut in flexible arrangements to take advantage of optimal nesting across multiple part geometries. For the first time, we determine the potential savings that flexible nested blanking of parts could achieve by calculating the potential for grouping orders with tolerably similar thickness, strengths, ductility and corrosion-resistance. We found that 1080 kt of CO2 and 710 kt of steel worth €430M could be saved each year if this scheme was adopted across all European flat steelmills serving the automotive sector.