Many Sports take advantage of the properties of lead.
The properties of lead including high density, malleability, ease of casting and resistance to corrosion, promote its use in both professional and amateur sports.
For water based sports, lead is used for, ship ballast, diving weights and fishing lures
On Land, lead is used sports handicapping, and in golf clubs and tennis racquets.
Lead Bullets are obviously a key element in hunting and target shooting.
This article will provide information on the uses of lead in various sports and information about Nuclead Inc. a manufacturer of lead products and related services.
Because of its high density and resistance against corrosion, lead is used for the ballast in ships and sailing vessels.
Lead ballast is either external ballast, which is built into the keel or is internal ballast which can be in many forms including lead blocks, lead balls or lead ingots.
Lead Ship Ballast is used to provide distribution of weight, to counteract buoyancy and to provide stability. Lead ballast is used in sailboats to provide moment to resist the lateral forces on the sail. The lead weight is typically kept as low in the water as possible to provide the maximum righting moment that can be extracted from the given mass
Ballast Lead comes in a variety of sizes, shapes and grades; common is Machine Lead which is around 1-4% Antimony content and the balance is Pure Lead
External Ship Ballast
On many modern vessels, the keel is made of high density lead casting, including machined or cast-in fixtures. In some cases the lead keel can be cast in one piece, called a solid pattern or if it must be cast in a split pattern. Lead keel castings can range from 100 lbs to 200,000 lbs., and can take virtually any shape or size.
Lead keel bulbs are often used in sailing vessels, these provide additional turning moment to prevent tipping and allow the vessel to sail closer to the wind.
Sheet Lead can also be used for ballast applications when additional weight is required for wrapping Lead Keel Bulbs and Fins.
Internal Ship Ballast
Historical forms of ballast carried inside the hull were stones or sand. However lead ballast provides a more flexible and easier to use alternative. Internal lead ballast can consist of many forms including lead shot, lead ingots and lead blocks ranging in size from 10lbs and up.
Lead shot is an option for ballast requirements when space is tight. Lead shot is also excellent for trim ballast applications, keel centerboard ballast fills and lifting keel applications.
One piece internal lead keel castings are also sometimes used.
Lead Diving Weights
Divers wear lead weighting systems, lead weight belts or lead weights, to counteract the buoyancy of other diving equipment, such as diving suits and aluminum diving cylinders.
Lead Fishing sinkers
A lead fishing sinker is a weight used to force a lure or bait to sink sometimes to the bottom of the waterway. Sinkers are made of lead, since the material is inexpensive to produce and mold into a large variety of shapes for specific fishing applications.
For example, lead pyramid sinkers, shaped as the name implies, are used when it is desirable to anchor on the bottom of water bodies
Horse racing weights
Horses carry lead weights during the course of a race as a form of handicap. Such a race is also sometimes termed a “handicap.” The jockeys use saddle pads with pockets called lead pads to hold the lead weights.
These lead riding weights are assigned by the Racing secretary based on factors such as performances, distance so as to equalize the chances of the competitors.
Car racing weights
Lead racing weights, in the form of lead bricks or lead bars, are used in racing cars to balance the car to achieve optimal performance and to meet the weight restrictions that the car must fall within to meet specifications. They have to take into account the weight of all materials to construct the car: roll cage, engine, transmission, driver’s seat, fuel tank, weight of full fuel tank, weight of half empty fuel tank, oil, tires, the weight of the driver, weight of driver’s equipment, and many more items. Lead racing weights allow additional design flexibility.
Lead in Golf Clubs and Tennis Racquets
Custom golf club makers use powdered lead – either as pure lead, lead oxide or litharge lead (Litharge is one of the natural mineral forms of lead oxide) – to balance and weight the clubs. There is typically a cavity in the head, accessible through a small hole sealed with a screw. Swing weight can be adjusted by removing this screw, adding a measured amount of powdered lead and replacing and securing the screw with epoxy.
Lead rod has also been used to add weight in tennis racquet customization
Hunting and Target Shooting
Lead Alloy bullets
A lead bullet is a projectile. Thousands of years ago lead bullets were fired from slings but since the mid fourteenth century bullet has meant a projectile fired from a firearm. The original meaning of the word comes from the French boulette or small ball because early bullets were shaped that way and used gunpowder (black powder) for propellant.
Lead is an ideal bullet material because it is high in mass, relatively cheap, easy to obtain, easy to work and melts at a low temperature, making bullet manufacture easier.
Since the invention of rifles and higher nuzzle speeds, bullets have been made out of several variations of lead alloys of tin and antimony. The typical bullet shape is now a pointed cylinder instead of a round ball.
The main sporting applications for ammunition are hunting and marksmanship/target shooting.
Bullets with tips designed for use in hunting often use softer tips that expand to cause maximum damage to incapacitate the target and tend not to completely penetrate so that bystanders are not harmed.
These types of bullets are banned from military use by convention. Military bullets usually have hard tips or full metal jackets.
In conclusion lead metal finds many uses in the sporting world today.