It is a soft and silvery metal found in group 14 of the periodic table. It has an atomic number of 42. It is a grayish kind of metal. It is quite ductile and malleable. It is also a dense metal and quite a poor conductor of electricity. It is one of the oldest metals, which is very durable, and it is also quite a corrosion-resistant metal.
Sources of lead
Lead is usually found in ores. Most metals are founded in the earth’s crust combining other metals and elements forming ores. Then the required metal is obtained through chemical processes or a blast furnace. The primary source of lead is a mineral called Galena (PbS).
Uses of lead
Lead is a dense metal with high ductility and low melting point, and also it can absorb gamma radiation and x-ray. These features make this metal quite useful. Lead can be used as a helpful solvent and can also be used in the collection of gold and silver.
Lead oxidizes quickly when freshly cut and forms a dark grey coating, a mixture of lead and lead monoxide (PbO). The coating protects the metal from getting corroded.
It is used in pipes to prevent corrosion and is also used to make paints. It is also used to make batteries, an essential metal feat. It is used to produce lead-acid batteries. It is also used to solder parts of specific mechanical tools. Once lead gets mixed with fluorine, it forms lead fluoride. Lead fluoride is used in metal production. It is used in the electrolysis process in the form of electrodes.
Dangers and important facts about lead
Lead can cause lead poisoning, is quite hazardous to humans, and attacks vital organs of the body. The metal can slow the rate at which the organs and brains of small children grow.