Evaluation of an Eco Audit tool - through an LCA of a novel car disc brake

DS 91: Proceedings of NordDesign 2018, Linköping, Sweden, 14th - 17th August 2018

Year: 2018
Editor: Ekströmer, Philip; Schütte, Simon and Ölvander, Johan
Author: Gradin, Katja Tasala; Åström, Anna Hedlund
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: KTH Royal Institute of Technology
ISBN: 978-91-7685-185-2


Transport of goods and people is increasing and causing strains on the environment. Road vehicles emit exhaust and non-exhaust emissions. One significant contributor to non-exhaust emissions is particulates generated through wear from braking. The particulates originate from the contact surfaces of the pad and the disc. Particulate emission is a known issue with considerable impacts on plant, animal, and human health. In the EU Horizon 2020 LOWBRASYS (a LOW environmental impact BRAke SYStem) project(LOWBRASYS, 2017), one of the objectives was to design a novel disc brake that reduces particulate generation during braking. One of the results is a novel disc brake with disc and pad-materials that indicate a significant decrease in particulate formation during use. This is accomplished by changing the materials of the contact pair regarding composition and coatings (Wahlström, Lyu, Matjeka, & Söderberg, 2017).Materials used in the disc brakes cause environmental impacts during their life cycle. Some parts and processes need for example critical raw materials such as tungsten, cobalt, and more(European Commission, 2017). This paper evaluates a material selection tool with an environmental perspective for product developers called Eco Audit (Ashby et al. 2008). This tool is featured in the CES Edu Pack software provided by Granta Design, Cambridge University (Granta 2018). The purpose of this study is to evaluate if the Eco Audit tool can provide a fast and valid impact assessment from anLCAperspective. Results of the Eco Audit compared to the SimaPro results indicate that it is possible to make valid conclusions. The validity of the tool is connected to the purpose of the study. If the purpose is to identify critical life cycle phases and environmental impacts, then the tool can accurately aid the user. It could potentially be difficult to make valid conclusions when assessing a product with more complex processes or advanced materials. The tool’s strengths are the simplicity and easy accessibility for any user. The trade-off is precision, robustness, and representativeness of the target

Keywords: Product design, material choice, Life Cycle Assessment, Eco Audit, disc brake


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