Lead ballast is one of the best materials you can use for weights. It can be cast as pure lead or mixed with alloys for added harness and other valuable properties. Here is information on this important material and the vital role it plays today in many industries.
What Are Ballasts?
Ballasts are weights, and they are necessary to balance the weight of large objects like elevators and ships. Leaded products are very popular because they are so dense, it takes less material to give you the needed balancing weight. Why is this important?
Most industries today strive to produce the best products at the cheapest prices. In fact, if most companies were not price conscious they would soon be passed by their competition and may be out of business. Here are the reasons lead ballast products are used:
* Cost-effective – lead is an inexpensive metal. In fact, it’s a common byproduct of other metal producing methods.
* Environmentally friendly – lead poses no major risks to the environment. It’s a natural material, and it’s very easy to recycle. In fact, about half of all leaded products today come from recycling, and this helps to preserve fossil fuels.
* Efficient – few metals are denser than lead. For example, you could use platinum or tungsten (they are denser). However, the costs would be far too much for most businesses today. Lead weights can be smaller than most weights and take up less space.
One of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to balance drawbridges involves using a lead ballast made from shot. This method uses lead shot for added weight because shot can fill just about any space in the most efficient manner. In fact, recently the Gilmerton Bridge (located in Chesapeake, Virginia) used nearly three-quarters of a million pounds of lead shot to balance the bridge during its rebuild.
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