J & JW Longbottom has always had sustainability at the heart of its business, long before it became the modern buzzword for everyone to strive to. Since the company was formed in the 1870s, manufacturing cast iron at our foundry in West Yorkshire, recycled material has gone back into the process. Cast iron is an incredibly sustainable metal which can be infinitely recycled, you can’t get any better than that!
Manufacturing cast iron has a significantly lower environmental impact compared to aluminium and steel. Cast iron has a high carbon content and is the closest metal to iron ore mined from the earth and needs minimal processing to create the finished product. Iron is the fourth most abundant, naturally occurring element in the earth’s crust.
Although one of the oldest materials in engineering, it now has a prominent place in the modern world with the focus on protecting the environment from global warming. Legendary for its long life and durability, the proof is still attached to Victorian buildings with rainwater and soil drainage features adorning buildings well over a hundred years later. Properly maintained cast iron products will last the lifetime of a building and when a building needs to be demolished, the cast iron can be used again for the same purpose
Only 10 to 15% of the material in our castings is pig iron (crude iron), the rest consists of scrap including old rainwater goods, offcuts from fabrication work and any failed castings that don’t meet our rigorous quality control standards. The metal is heated using an electric induction furnace which offers many benefits from using a traditional coke-fired furnace, including improved efficiency and not polluting the environment. Using an electric furnace generates less dust, fumes and Co2 emissions and heats rapidly, reducing costs and making the entire process more efficient.
We retain all the casting patterns to use again, so there is little waste involved. We hold the widest range of casting patterns in the industry. Many are original meaning we can offer matches for existing castings such as gutters, without the need to make a new pattern.