KIMYA, the Additive Manufacturing materials subsidiary of French printing and coating firm ARMOR, has recently concluded that using recycled PETG filaments can significantly reduce CO2 emissions. KIMYA’s recently published Life Cycle Analyses (LCA) for its 3D PETG filaments indicates that recycled PETG filaments help to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 35%, compared to their non-recycled counterparts.
KIMYA conducted the LCA in conjunction with Greenly, a Paris-based accounting platform designed to reduce the carbon emissions of its users. Based on France’s Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) guidelines, it is hoped that these findings will encourage users to favor recycled filaments over less sustainable alternatives.
“Born out of our company’s DNA and a strong demand from our distributors, the Life Cycle Analysis, carried out on our standard and recycled PETG filaments, makes it possible to provide users with transparent information on the environmental impact of the materials they use, in order to encourage them to choose more environmentally friendly alternative”, said Benoît Stoeux, Managing Director at KIMYA. “Our LCA approach is part of our ongoing commitment to more sustainable production as evidenced by our “Remake” line of recycled filaments that we are continuing to expand to meet everyone’s needs”.
Moreover, Annabelle Guillet, Director of Societal Innovation at ARMOR, commented, “we at ARMOR GROUP act according to a clear strategic line, respectful of the environment and giving a central place to the women and men of the company, as evidenced by our EcoVadis gold medal”. Ultimately, Guillet characterizes ARMOR’s collective vision as “investing for the future”, with environmental sustainability being key to this.
Efforts to reduce KIMYA’s carbon footprint
LCA measures the environmental impacts of a product throughout its life, spanning the extraction of raw material, manufacture and use. KIMYA conducted LCA tests on both its recycled and standard PETG 3D filaments. The resulting data indicates that the recycled filaments emitted 4.08 kgCO2, whilst their standard PETG filament produced 6.27 kgCO2 of emissions. This 35% difference highlights the environmental benefits offered by recycled products, something KIMYA is keen to emphasize to consumers.
KIMYA’s focus on environmental sustainability stretches beyond the use of recycled 3D filaments. Indeed, Stoeux has highlighted that their packaging is now “100% environmentally friendly”, utilizing soluble ink and recycled cardboard. Moreover, the mounting flanges for KIMYA’s 3D filament spools are slated as now consisting of 95% recycled polycarbonate. Looking to the future, Stoeux indicates that the company is seeking to “conduct a full carbon assessment” of the company to “accurately quantify our carbon footprint and undertake specific measures to reduce our CO2 emissions”.
More generally within the manufacturing industry, it has been claimed that AM provides a more sustainable method of production when compared to traditional methods. According to French manufacturing service provider Sculpteo’s “The State of 3D Printing” 2022 edition, AM has been shown to improve the environmental impact of key industry users (managers, engineers, designers). For instance, 41% of the respondents interviewed affirm that additive manufacturing helps companies meet their sustainability goals. Additionally, 61% of the manufacturers interviewed stated that additive technology allows them to meet their production needs. Ultimately, 84% of respondents claimed that they are optimistic about the potential of AM in the future.
Environmental sustainability within AM
During the 2022 Formnext trade show, environmental sustainability was certainly a key topic. For instance, at the show, industrial manufacturing firm Siemens demonstrated how AM technology can be applied to reduce the carbon footprint of automotive grippers. By using its Product Carbon Footprint Calculator and NX for AM digital process chain, the company has discovered the ability to cut an automotive handling bot’s grippers mass by 64%. Consequently, the part is not only 73% cheaper to produce, but also has an 82% lower CO2 footprint.
3D printer manufacturer EOS also demonstrated moves towards greater sustainability at the show, introducing two new eco-friendly materials: PA 2200 CarbonReduced and PA 1101 ClimateNeutral. PA 2200 has been developed with a more efficient and sustainable production process, containing nearly 45% less CO2 than the previously petrol-based material. Similarity, PA 1101 is a bio-based powder which possesses a smaller footprint than petrol polymers. So much so, the material is shipped with certification verifying its carbon-offsetting credential.
Elsewhere, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati has recently leveraged AM technology to construct a 3D printed security post using M40-grade sustainable concrete which incorporates industrial waste, fibers, and chemical additives. According to Dr. Biranchi Panda, Assistant Professor Mechanical Department, IIT Guwahati, the construction, which was produced as part of the G20 Summit Initiatives, utilizes “sustainable construction materials”. Panda has also further emphasized how this project “demonstrates the remarkable aesthetic possibilities of concrete printing technology”.
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Featured image shows KIMYA’s recycled cardboard packaging. Photo via KIMYA.