Lead Replacement

What's the Panic?


Why Lead Replacement?

Lead is ranked number two on the U.S. Government's Top 100 Hazardous Substances Priority List. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has listed lead as a toxic chemical and set very restrictive threshold limits for concentrations in air, soil, water and vegetation. Lead is also under strict limitations in unleaded gasoline, paint, and general exposure in workplaces. According to this List, lead poses the second "most significant potential threat to human health", due to its toxicity and potential for exposure. So what does this mean? It means that Lead (#2) poses a bigger risk to human health than Mercury (#3), Chloroform (#11), Cyanide (#35), Methane (#69), and Asbestos (#94), as well as a whole slew of other lesser-known chemicals.

What Can Be Used As A Lead Replacement?

Lead's popularity is mainly due to its outstanding physical properties: high density, ease of casting and fabrication, and malleability.

Tungsten is a suitable material for lead replacement applications. It has an even higher density than lead. However, due to its extremely high melting temperature, molding tungsten into a shape is complex and costly. Still, tungsten can be formed into solids through a process called sintering. This is where tungsten and other metal powders are pressed into shape and bound in a special furnace.

Another approach to using tungsten powder as a lead replacement is currently used by many companies that manufacture non-toxic thermoplastic composite materials. These materials are mostly used for injection molding processes contain a variety of polymers and fillers.

A new approach for low-volume production of non-toxic lead replacement parts is now available.

Technon® / Poly kits offer the ability to pour lead density by simply mixing Technon® powder with suitable polymers. The material can be rigid or flexible, poured or injected, cured quickly or slowly, and is available in a variety of kit sizes.

Why Use Technon® in Lead Replacement Compounds?

Technon® offers many advantages to compounders:

What Are Some Lead Replacement Applications of These New Materials?

Ammunition: Projectiles and shots

Nuclear power radiation shielding: Temporary reactor, shielding, employee dose and reduction

Medical radiation shielding: X-ray collimators, syringe shielding, X-ray tube shielding, Bite wing X-ray, shields, radioisotope shielding containers, radiation therapy, nuclear medicine, and imaging device shielding.

Sport: Golf clubs and fishing lures.

Industrial: Flywheels, perforating liners, and cases

Weight-based: Balance weights, wheel weights, and inertia weights

Sound: Vibration dampening and acoustical dampening