Lead is a soft, malleable metal, considered a heavy metal. With the symbol Pb and atomic number 82, corrosion and low temperature resistant lead is used in many fields and products, from lead acid batteries, cables, bearings, cathode ray tubes, weights to construction industry, chemical industry and automotive battery manufacturers. This metal has the highest atomic number among all stable elements.
The largest consumer sector is batteries, which account for three-quarters of total demand. Batteries are divided into:
1) Start-light-ignition or SLI batteries currently consume more than half of the total demand. These batteries are mainly used in light vehicles. Its use is not limited to cars, but also in boats and golf carts. Demand for SLI batteries can be divided into original equipment and replacement. Demand for replacements exceeds demand for original equipment by about 4:1 in many markets.
2) Industrial batteries currently consume a quarter of total lead production. This sector includes stationary and traction batteries, split roughly 50:50. Stationary batteries are mainly used in backup power supply systems, while traction batteries are used in powered wheelchairs and forklift trucks.
The remainder of the cable is used in battery-free applications. Lead is supplied to many other industries as a pure metal, as a chemical compound or with other metals for the following uses:
· It can be used to make lead pipes for transporting corrosive chemicals and other materials.
· It is used as a lead-based pigment in the paint industry.
· It is used in the cable industry as a coating material for power cables.
· It is also used in computer monitors, television screens, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) stabilizers, and other industrial products.