The characteristics of lead sheeting make it a viable construction tool for a variety of applications. But most think only of lead sheeting for radiation shielding. The truth is, there are even more places where lead sheeting is a viable option to keep something out.
1. Radiation Shielding
First, radiation at high levels can be a workplace hazard. High energy radiation can emanate from a variety of sources, but we’re most often thinking of the radiation from medical test equipment such as x-ray devices.
Whole rooms or building sections can be lined with lead in order to stop or contain the radiation. Lead sheet shielding is often used as part of the walls, ceilings and even floors to create these areas of containment. Beyond an x-ray machine, there are both natural and man-made sources of radiation.
Radiation can occur naturally in soil in some areas, and there are small amounts of radiation released into the environment from power producing plants including nuclear and coal-fueled plants. Lead sheet can be used as a barrier to ground radiation by lining basements or substructures with lead. Industrial and manufacturing companies where a process or machine puts radiation into the environment will often protect workers–and the public–with lead shielding.
2. Roof Protection
Another common use is in roofing or roof flashing. Lead is not impacted by a wide range of temperatures, it is corrosion-resistant and can handle exposure to the atmosphere, saltwater, UV light and most natural chemicals. Lead is also easily shaped and formed without cracking. Roof lines have a variety of pitches and elements that are best protected with lead sheeting. For these reasons, lead sheeting is a regular component in roofing and roof flashing.
3. Ground Protection
Lead sheeting is an overall good choice for waterproofing. It is often mandatory in some building or construction applications to guard against groundwater infiltration. Lead sheeting is impermeable to water. It resists rusting and corrosion. Lead sheeting’s shape molding efficiencies make it perfect for other areas of construction including walls and floors. It is also used for packing and sealing material. When installed correctly, lead sheeting used to keep groundwater out (or moisture from water features in) can provide protection for as long as the building or below-ground feature exists. Some examples where lead sheeting are used:
- Water tanks
- Below ground structures
- Reflection pools
- Rooftop gardens
4. Making the Music Better
An interesting use that is common but less visible, centers around another shielding characteristic–soundproofing. Noise can cause issues in a variety of industries. Heavy manufacturing is one area where both sound and vibration pollution can be addressed by the use of lead sheeting. In manufacturing, lead sheeting can be put right on machinery to deaden noise and vibration.
In the music industry, builders work diligently to reduce outside sounds from getting into recording studios and control rooms. Lead sheeting is often found in the walls, ceilings and floors of these facilities in order to make sure the only sounds on a recording…were intended to be there.
From the music industry to the hospital or radiology laboratory, lead sheeting is shielding noise, radiation and the elements to make homes, buildings and equipment safer, drier and quiet.
Mayer Alloys Corporation brings together the resources to meet your manufacturing, assembly and supply chain needs. From metal distribution specializing in tin and lead products to mil-spec packaging, warehouse and distribution services and electronic waste and scrap metal recycling. Contact us today to see how we can meet your needs!