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Lead Wool Applications

Lead wool used in medical research and water tight joints

Lead Wool consists of chemical grade lead drawn in long, fine strands, it is made by scratching fine strands from the surface of a lead disc. These strands are often twisted together into rope. This lead averages about 2½ ft. to one pound.

The lead wool is used to seal flanged connections, cast iron, cement and earthenware pipes, and apertures of walls and ceilings. Lead is quite ductile, this property ensures fast and easy filling and sealing of both small and large joints. As a result lead wool joints are capable of withstanding pressures 24 times a cast lead joint, in addition to providing long term joint stability due to lead’s general resistance to corrosion.

It is also convenient for radiation protection and as also been used in medical research particularly into the effects of gamma radiation on viral infections, where the lead wool was used to protect certain areas.
Lead wool is also used for the caulking of joints in some specialist batteries.

Waterproofing using Lead Wool

As stated above one of the main uses of lead wool has been for the sealing of joints. The big advantage here is that this is a mechanical process performed cold.

After the joint is packed with oakum, lead wool is packed into the joint and hammered in using caulking irons both on the inside and outside of the joint. The effect of the caulking is that the lead wool compresses and expands into the joint forming a complete seal, due to the inherent ductile nature of the lead.

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