Atomic Number: 82 Period Number: 6 Group Number: 14
Lead & Compounds
A dense, soft, malleable heavy metal, lead (Pb) is silvery-blue when freshly cut and quickly tarnishes to dull grey. A element, it features the highest atomic number and reacts easily with acids and bases. Recognition of the toxicity of lead over the past century has encouraged many countries to reduce its use in products and applications which may result in exposure, as research suggests that there is no safe level of lead exposure.
Applications of Lead and its Compounds
Prior to concerns about the toxicity of lead and its compounds, both were more widely used across a wealth of industries, including glass manufacture, soldering and electronics, and more.
Many countries are working to reduce the use of lead in products where the end-user may be exposed to the biological effects of the material. However, carefully managed lead remains a crucial material in countless major industries.
- Batteries. Lead-acid batteries are the main application for both metal lead and lead compounds.
- Construction. Lead is still a common material in construction for components which won’t be exposed to end-users. For example, lead sheets are still popular as an architectural material for roofing, parapets, statues, and other roles where the lead will be covered by another material.
- Machinery. Lead is frequently added to alloys for applications which require reduced friction and/or easy machinability.
- Ammunition. The soft, low-friction nature of lead makes it uniquely suited for use in producing bullets, though it has been phased out to some degree in this role due to concerns about toxicity from rounds left in the environment.
- Semiconductors. Used to produce semiconducting alloys for photovoltaic cells and infrared devices.
Available from AHP Materials
AHP Materials specializes in high purity elements and compounds. As part of our standard catalog, we offer:
- Lead metal, 99.999%, 99.9999%, or 99.99999% purity
- Lead oxide, 99.999% or 99.9999% purity
Contact us to learn more, or to inquire about custom orders.
Wikipedia - Basics on Lead
Chemicool - Cool way to learn about Lead
WebElements - The basic elements of Lead
Jefferson Lab - Learning about lead