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Life Cycle Design of Air Intake Manifolds: Phase I: 2.0 L Ford Contour Air Intake Manifold

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Life cycle design (LCD) is a framework for designing product systems which are both economically and ecologically sustainable. Key elements of this framework are systems analysis, multicriteria analysis and multistakeholder participation. This paper illustrates the application of life cycle design for a comparative evaluation of a prototype sand-cast 2.0 l equivalent of the 1.9 l multi-tube brazed aluminum manifold for the 1995 Ford Escort.

A life cycle inventory analysis was performed for the intake manifolds by evaluating the energy and wastes in the raw material acquisition, material processing, manufacturing, use and retirement stages. The environmental data for the two manifolds were integrated with life cycle cost and performance data to enhance product design and decision making.

The stakeholders for this study consisted of different levels of suppliers (tier 1, tier 2, tier 3, etc.), Ford, users, dismantlers, non-ferrous processors, scrap metal dealers, waste managers, and regulators. The interaction of these diverse stakeholders and their individual needs defined the design requirements of the manifold system. These requirements were identified and evaluated by a cross-functional team from Ford including powertrain product, manufacturing and environmental engineering, materials research, energy analysis, environmental quality, casting operations, advanced vehicle technology and their vehicle recycling program.

The results of the analysis show that the life cycle energy, most air emissions and waterborne waste are lower for the multi-tube brazed manifold. Life cycle solid wastes are lower for the sand-cast manifold. Life cycle cost of the two manifolds are almost identical.

Research Areas
Mobility Systems
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Full Citation

Keoleian, Gregory A. and Krishnendu Kar. 2001. Life Cycle Design of Air Intake Manifolds: Phase I: 2.0 L Ford Contour Air Intake Manifold. National Risk Management Research Laboratory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA 600/R-99/023.