Each month we answer your product and industry questions. This month you asked: “Is machine cast lead produced using ‘impure’ lead?”
As well as being prompted to tackle this question from one of our newsletter readers, industry-wide misconceptions around machine cast lead’s chemical composition were also revealed from our recent research findings.
Having commissioned Britain’s largest industry survey of its kind, which collated the views of over 250 lead merchants and end users, we found that machine cast lead often gets associated with ‘impure lead’, while rolled lead is thought to be made from ‘pure lead’.
In fact, both machine cast and rolled lead are manufactured using the exact same chemical specification. At Midland Lead, we also have rigorous quality control procedures in place. Our lead sheet is tested in our on-site lab to ensure it is always at least 99.95% pure and made to the highest standards.
So where did this common and widespread misconception come from? Our research suggests the reason why many believe the purity of rolled lead is different to machine cast lead may be down to the fact that machine cast lead is manufactured from lead scrap. While it is indeed made from 100% recycled lead, the same can be said for rolled. In fact, all lead manufactured in the UK is made from lead scrap.
Many of our customers who are focused on sustainability actually see this as a huge positive and an opportunity to boost their green credentials. Using a product not only made from 100% recycled lead, but is also recyclable in itself, is a great step towards a more sustainable industry.
In fact, with 95% of UK lead being recycled, for the first time lead now features in the BRE Green Guide with a rating of A+ or A. 95% is an impressively high statistic when pitted against many lead sheet alternatives, which have a recovery rate of less than 10%.
Lead also has a relatively low melting point, producing less carbon emissions. It also has a guaranteed lifespan of at least 50 years for rolled lead or 60 years for machine cast lead – all of which serve to highlight lead’s fantastic green credentials.
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