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Lead Wool

Lead Wool is Chemical grade lead, drawn into long thin strands and twisted into 5/8” rope.

High quality lead wool in 5-50 lb. waterproof packages (per QQ-C-40)

Lead Wool is chemical grade lead, drawn into long thin strands and twisted into 5/8” rope. Chemical grade lead is lead that has been refined to a purity of at least 99.94 %. This grade of lead is also known as “corroding lead”, the name deriving from the process used to manufacture it not as a result of any property of the metal.

Here are some of the main applications for lead wool:

  • Traditionally lead wool has been used in the caulking of waterproof joints in drainage and other pipes. The joint to be sealed is first packed with Oakum, also known as hemp fiber, using a ‘caulking irons’ the oakum is packed in several layers around the joint. Lead wool is then inserted into the joint and is hammered into place, to form a solid seal between the iron pipe and the lead. The advantages of the lead wool over other forms of lead include the fact that there is no need to melt the lead wool, so sealing horizontal joints is easier, and the potential health hazard is reduced.
  • Lead wool is a good source of radiation shielding, in particular in the manufacture of lead wool blankets, lead wool is preferred due to its flexibility in handling. The lead is sewn into an inner and outer cover. The inner cover to contain the lead, and then a heavier outer cover for added protection and durability. Materials used for inner and outer covers are often vinyl-laminated nylon, though other materials are available.
  • The balancing of helicopter rotors, aircraft propellers and windmill blades Is another common use of lead wool. The flexible nature of the lead wool allows it to be inserted into the propeller using automated equipment.
  • Lead wool is also useful for securing roof flashing into place, since it is long-lasting, doesn’t rust, and wedges tight, in addition to being flexible. Lead wool also does not react with copper which is often a roofing material on some older buildings.

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