The environmental compatibility of lead
The selection and the use of materials are not simply dependent on their mechanical and technological characteristics, but increasingly also on environmental aspects. Here a holistic consideration is required, from production through application right up to disposal.

Four central criteria are important for the evaluation of the environmental compatibility of a material.

High Longevity

The longer a product of consistent quality is used, the better is its environmental compatibility. As a result, supposedly environmentally friendly materials with a limited service life are sometimes subject to another consideration.

Rolled lead is a perfect example of durability. Rolled lead is one of the most durable materials there are. Professionally laid, its lifetime far exceeds the lifetime of a house. Sacred buildings are the proof of a lifetime lasting over centuries.

Safe application

Many materials may cause harm to our environment if used incorrectly - this is of course also the case for lead. In fact, the risks of lead are known, are consistently being minimised and can be kept entirely under control.

Rolled lead - like all weathered materials on our planet - is subject to erosion due to weathering. Due to the protective layer (patina) which is automatically formed, this erosion remains very minor, but can be measured.

According to scientific studies, these minor erosion rates are not harmful to the environment. Two of the long-term trials published by the organisation for applied natural science research (TNO) have analysed and assessed the erosion of different rolled lead types in realistic installation situations.

In a comparison between over ten different alloys, the alloy PbCu05 has proven itself particularly low in erosion. No lead erosion could be measured on color coated rolled lead.

Brochure on Rolled lead in the building industry

Unlimited recyclability

Recycling comes naturally to lead. Other materials have to undergo complex processes and checks, but for lead as a material, this is a matter of course. Lead is the material with the highest recovery rate. The material can be reused to almost 100 percent for a new product, independently of how often and how long it was used previously.

There are practically no reductions in quality. In contrast to one-way materials, rolled lead is therefore a superb recyclable material.

Gentle on resources

Lead is an original material made by nature. The energy requirements are extremely minor both during its extraction and its processing. A low melting point of 327 degrees is gentle on resources. At the same time, the material can easily be moulded and cast, properties which people have made use of for more than 10,000 years.