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The Environmental Impacts of Blacksmithing

The Environmental Impacts of Blacksmithing

Blacksmithing is more commonly known as hand forging in today’s day and age, but blacksmithing is a much loved and honed skill within the Black Country that dates back to the Bronze Age. Many people look for a sought out blacksmiths for their hand crafted pieces as they provide a higher level of artistry and craftsmanship when compared to mass product that is more commonly seen within the industry today.

B. B. Price have been in the forging industry for over 150 years and have refined the art of blacksmithing effectively, but what impact does this have on the environment?

What is Blacksmithing?

A blacksmith is someone who has been highly trained in creating an object or product from wrought iron or steel via forging. Other metals can be used as well and can be used to make railings, fixtures, sculptures, furniture, tools, kitchen utensils and so much more!

The metal will be heated before being shaped with hand tools by a blacksmith. Hammers, anvils, and chisels are common tools for a blacksmith to use, as with hand forging, in order to product a bespoke piece that lasts.

For the process of blacksmithing (hand forging) to take place, the heating process is done in a forge that is fuelled by propane, coal, charcoal, natural gas, coke, or oil. These gases used can have environmental impact that is not always seen or considered during mass forging production.

Can We Improve the Environmental Impact?

There are a range of environmental impacts from forging:

  • Air pollution
    • Heating metal can release pollutants that are toxic, including carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. Using cleaner fuels can help reduce air pollution.
  • Noise pollution
    • Forging is a loud process and blacksmithing includes a large amount of banging during the process. This can be disruptive to the surrounding areas. Sound proofing can help reduce noise pollution.
  • Water pollution
    • Pollutants can get into water streams when cooling metal and can contaminate the water making it harmful to aquatic life. The right systems in place can help reduce water pollution.
  • Material waste
    • Scraps of metal are wasted throughout the blacksmithing process. Using these for another purpose reduces the leftover waste; alternatively, recycling is also an option to help reduce scrap metal waste.
  • Energy consumption
    • Forging/ blacksmithing is a highly intense process that requires a lot of energy consumption. These fuels can be changed to become more sustainable, helping environmental impact.

Although there are these negative environmental impacts, there are things that con be done within the forging industry to improve the environmental impact:

  • Reuse or Repurpose materials
    • Avoid waste by re-using or re-purposing scraps of metal
  • Use propane for forges
    • Propane is still a toxic gas but can be considered more environmentally friendly than coal-fuelled forges.
  • Look for renewable sources of energy
    • Renewable sources of energy are an up and coming focus within all industries across the UK, trying to find sustainability for your business. Using solar or wind power and looking for an alternative to propane may help towards this change of energy source.
  • Sound proofing
    • Having the right sound-proofing materials around a blacksmithing forge can help with noise pollution in the surrounding areas.
  • Use Eco-Friendly Products

Finding and using eco-friendly products can help reduce water and air pollution and toxins.

Your Forging Specialists - B. B. Price

B. B. Price has been forging for over 150 years and has extensive knowledge of all forging processes. If you are looking for blacksmithing (hand forging), you can find the best products and services here!

Contact our team today via our online contact form or give our team a call to discuss your requirements further. We are here to help ensure that you have reliable, long-lasting products for the best price whilst considering the environmental impact!