Browse Publications Technical Papers 2018-37-0029
2018-05-30

TAKE-HOME MESSAGES FROM THE APPLICATIONS OF LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT ON LIGHTWEIGHT AUTOMOTIVE COMPONENTS 2018-37-0029

During the last few decades, the European regulations concerning CO2 emissions and vehicle recyclability/recoverability rates are leading OEMs to develop and apply several technological strategies to increase environmental performances of vehicles. In this context, lightweighting is a key concern because effectively contribute to reduce vehicle mass, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions during the operation stage of vehicle. The research advancements are enhancing the applicability of a diverse set of innovative materials (e.g. plastics, bio- composites) to different vehicle assemblies and so the weight reduction with the same mechanical performances. This paper is devoted to describe the implementation of LCA methodological approach in Magneti Marelli® allowing a wider environmental conscious related to the usage of innovative materials and related manufacturing processes. Magneti Marelli® designs and produces hi-tech systems and components for the automotive sector representing a relevant contribution on vehicle mass weight with a roughly 15% portion of incidence. The Company has started to get involved into sustainability programs by focusing the attention on the environmental impact of its products. In particular, efforts are dedicated to select innovative materials that could lead to benefits in terms of lightweighting, disassembly and recoverability. Since the use of lightweight materials is often responsible for increase in the production stage impact, the Life Cycle Assessment methodology is applied during the design phase to evaluate and compare alternative design solutions and identify the best one. Moreover, in the last year a new sustainability programme has been launched to enlarge the assessment also to socio-economic indicators in addition to the environmental ones.

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