TA11A Case Studies on Minerals and Metals Products
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() Comparative Life Cycle Assessment for metal coating processes.

Buchgeister, J.1, Schattauer, Th.2, Wijngaard, J.2, 1 Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe2 Balzers AG

ABSTRACT- With the Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) technique at low temperatures (200 to 500 degrees C) thin film coatings with high hardness, high wear resistance and low friction coefficient can be produced. Those coatings improve the performance of tools and components and allow a longer lifetime. _CR__LF_Up to now there are not sufficient investigations about the environmental impact of the metal coating processes. Neither the contribution of the single coating process steps, nor the contribution of the production of the source materials ( metal targets and gases ) are known. This case study is based on the data collection of the Unaxis Balzers AG and describes a comparative Life Cycle Assessment for the TiN, TiAlN, and WC/C metal coating processes. As functional unit the coating of 100'000 drills is used. In addition a comparative investigation is carried out for two different types of coating equipment. For identifying the dominant environmental impacts the CML impact assessment method is used._CR__LF_For the identification of the crucial process steps a sensitivity analysis is carried out. Especially the production of the source materials is investigated and finally recommendations for process optimization strategies are shown._CR__LF_

Key words: metal coating, LCA, PVD, process optimization

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