In school, we write with the help of a pencil. Every individual has used a pencil in their childhood. But have you ever thought about how we can use and write with the help of a pencil? What makes a pencil have such properties?
The answer to this is lead; with the help of a lead, we are able to write. Also, lead is known as Plumbum (chemical name of lead). Let's look at the picture below to recall the memories of using a pencil.
Pencil Having Lead
Description of Lead
Lead is a chemical element with symbolic representation as Pb, and its atomic number is 82. Lead is a heavy metal that is denser than most other materials. Lead is soft and is also malleable in nature. Lead has a low melting point.
Lead is silvery white or grayish metal in color. It is placed in group 14 on the periodic table. It is malleable, ductile, and dense in nature. Also, it is a poor conductor of electricity.
It contains only one type of atom in it. It is a chemical substance that is very resistant to corrosion but if exposed to air it gets tarnished easily. Lead is also used in homes and around us, which includes paint, ceramics, pipes, and also in plumbing materials, and cosmetics.
Position of Lead in the Periodic Table
Properties of Lead
Lead has an atomic mass of 207.2. Its melting point is 327 C and its boiling point is 1755 C. It has 13 isotopes.
The metal in its powdered form produces a bluish-white flame when burnt in the air.
Lead has an ionic radius of 0.840 A.
So, Properties of Lead Can be Summed Up As:
The properties of lead that make it useful in a wide variety of applications are density, malleability, lubricity, flexibility.
Lead has good resistance to corrosion.
Lead is an easier alloy than many other metals and casts with little difficulty.
Lead has quite low elasticity, strength, and hardness.
Uses of Lead
Lead in Car Batteries
Lead Used in Wires as Covering
It is used in shipbuilding as it is resistant to corrosion.
Lead is used in cable sheaths.
It is also used as a coloring agent.
Lead is also used in making crystal glass and is commonly known as crystal. Lead glass contains typically 18-40% lead (II) oxide, while modern lead crystals known as flint glass contain a minimum of 24% of PbO.
Lead Crystal Glass
Lead has been known since ancient times. Lead is made from a form of carbon called graphite which is mixed with clay and formed into lead used in pencil. Moreover, this element is found in nature in pure form but in ores. The natural formation of lead is by radioactive decay of uranium and thorium. Also, it reacts more rapidly with hot acids and is slow reactive in water and cold acids.
Its ores are widely distributed and it has a low melting point. Thus, it melts easily and has a lot of uses. It is found in all parts of our environment, and much of it comes from human activities. Lead has been extracted by roasting the ore and then smelting it. Lead in industries is called a useful metal, it has a lot of commercial purposes and usage.