Materials selection for environmentally conscious design via a proposed life cycle environmental performance index

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Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


Although product design methods are well developed, the recent rise of environmentally conscious design, which includes materials selection as a key element, mandates the development of new engineering tools for decision-making. In this investigation, a method for establishing a life cycle environmental performance index is developed; it is envisioned that the index can be integrated into an environmentally conscious design process. The method addresses such traditional design factors as structural constraints and incorporates an additional consideration, the life cycle environmental impact. The method is applied to the design of an air conditioner support plate. In this application, it is desired to select a material that provides minimal environmental impact, subject to stiffness and strength constraints. Pareto optimization is adopted to analyze the results. The case study shows that the decision-making analysis can provide design guidelines and a criterion for materials selection to achieve environmentally conscious design.

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International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology