Life Cycle Assessment of Autoliv’s Front Seatbelt

Examensarbete för masterexamen

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Type: Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Title: Life Cycle Assessment of Autoliv’s Front Seatbelt
Authors: Iwanek, Katarzyna
Samiee, Nima
Abstract: Autoliv as a world leading enterprise in automotive safety has determined four Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study for its main products including airbag, seatbelt, Electronic Control Unit (ECU) and Night Vision Camera to improve its knowledge about these products and their supply chain. This particular LCA study has been carried out for Autoliv’s pyrotechnic front seatbelt. In this study the whole life cycle is considered; starting from extraction and production of raw materials, manufacturing of components at suppliers plants, seatbelt assembly at Autoliv plant in Hungary, installation in Audi Ingolstadt, use phase in the cars and finally seatbelt’s end of life when it is shredded together with the car. The results of the study indicate that over the course of the life cycle of the seatbelt, the use phase has the largest potential to cause global warming (total 41 kg), acidification (total 75 g), eutrophication (total 8.72 g) and air ecotoxicity (total 90 kg). This is mainly due to high amount of CO2 and variety of other toxic substances that are released during combustion of fuel and could be improved through weight reduction. In case of water ecotoxicity (total 6 kg) the most influential activity is manufacturing and for soil ecotoxicity (total 3 g) and human toxicity (total 1.8 kg), material production is the main responsible. From the results, it could also be observed that pretensioner retractor is the component which has the largest environmental load, due to its complexity and high number of the components which involve variety of suppliers in its realization. The comparison between airbag and seatbelt shows that considering global warming potential airbag has larger impact in the production phase and end of life while smaller in the use phase. Regarding acidification and eutrophication, in production phase the results are quite similar but in use phase, seatbelt dominates quite significantly. In cases of air and water ecotoxicity and human toxicity the result represents that airbag has larger impacts. Moreover, results signify that production processes carried out in Autoliv’s plants are less harmful to environment in comparison with the production processes carried out in other suppliers’ plants and also other phases in the life cycle. The results also prove that transportation has quite low contribution in global warming. The results show that about 70% of seatbelt is recycled and 26.4% is recovered as energy. It is worth to mention that against our initial expectation, studied seatbelt was a quite complex product since it has the features of seatbelt pretensioner and load limiter.
Keywords: Miljöteknik;Environmental engineering
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för energi och miljö
Chalmers University of Technology / Department of Energy and Environment
Series/Report no.: Report - Division of Environmental Systems Analysis, Chalmers University of Technology : 2010:4
Collection:Examensarbeten för masterexamen // Master Theses

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