A macro level environmental performance comparison: dry machining process vs wet machining process

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Lodhia, Prashant
Twomey, Janet M.
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The metal cutting process, known as conventional machining process, utilizes cutting fluids to provide lubrication, cooling and easy chip removal. The long-term effects of cutting fluids disposal into the environment are becoming increasingly evident. Research has also proven the health hazards on manufacturing workers who come in direct contact with cutting fluids. The formulation of stringent rules and restrictions on use and disposal of cutting fluids has increased the cost associated with cutting fluids use to between 7% and 17% of total manufacturing cost. The dry machining process considered in this thesis, using diamond-coated tools for the machining of aluminum eliminates cutting fluids from the cutting process. The improvement in tool life in dry machining and complete elimination of cutting fluids from the process are known benefits of the diamond-coated tools. Even though these advantages have been documented, no one to date has considered the environmental impacts of the entire life cycle of either wet or dry machining. In this research, a macro level life cycle analysis (LCA), a systems analysis tool for evaluating environmental impacts over the life span of a product or process, is used to compare environmental performance of the conventional or wet machining process using uncoated carbide tools and the dry machining process using diamond-coated carbide tools at a macro level. A cost analysis of these machining processes is also included here to provide more informed guidelines for the local Wichita aircraft manufacturers and for the manufacturing industry in general. The results indicate that the dry machining surpasses the wet machining process in terms of environmental impacts at a macro level

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Thesis (M.S.)--Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
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