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A parametric life cycle assessment model for ductile cast iron components

CSS Publication Number
Full Publication Date
November 18, 2022

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is widely used to evaluate product environmental impacts, while detailed LCAs are missing that model the effect of design and manufacturing decisions on U.S. ductile iron casting environmental impacts. We develop a parametric LCA model by collecting inventory data from 11 foundries (26% of U.S. production) and literature to quantify the impact of design and manufacturing decisions on the product's cumulative energy demand (CED) and global warming potential (GWP). The model reveals the cradle-to-gate CED and GWP of U.S. ductile iron products at 24–50 MJ/kgproduct (mean: 37 MJ/kgproduct) and 1.6-3.0 kg.CO2eq./kgproduct (mean: 2.2 kg.CO2eq./kgproduct). A Sobol-indices sensitivity analysis revealed the factors that have the greatest effect in reducing these environmental impacts: casting yield, electricity grid, recycled content, and furnace technology. A comparative whole life cycle analysis of automotive ductile iron applications versus forged steel, stamped steel and aluminum alternatives highlights the design and manufacturing conditions that minimize life cycle impacts.

Yongxian Zhu
Research Areas

Life cycle assessment



Sustainable manufacturing

Publication Type
Journal Article
Digital Object Identifier
Full Citation

Zhu, Yongxian, Gregory A. Keoleian, Daniel R. Cooper. (2022). A parametric life cycle assessment model for ductile cast iron components. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 189: 106729. CSS22-28