The density of lead makes it an excellent choice in a counterweight for virtually any type of application. As the name implies, a counterweight is used to counter or offset the weight of a particular component, part or structure, creating a balance or an anchor or an option to move a system.
For example, a counterweight can be used on a crane to offset the weight of the load the crane is lifting and moving. Without the use of the counterweight, the crane would topple when the load was added. Bridges, elevators and other types of components also use lead counterweights to cause a part or component to be positioned or repositioned in relation to the counterweight.
In designing lead counterweights, a mathematical formula is used to determine the specific weight of the counterbalancing component. This is the weight of the counterweight multiplied by the distance from the central support. This total amount has to be equal to the weight of the load and the distance of the load from the central support.
Shape and Design
Depending on the application, the lead counterweights can be designed to fit into the structure or to meet specific size requirements. The counterweights can be cast into a variety of shapes with tight tolerances, allowing them to sit in specific areas of the structure, equipment or design.
In addition, the counterweights can be protectively coated with powder coat or specific types of epoxy coatings. This not only provides an aesthetic that can blend into the structure, but it also ensures the lead is contained and safe.
This is particularly important when the counterweights will be in public or private areas where they may be open to access by the public. Encapsulating the lead is also critical in any area where the counterweight will be exposed to water, chemicals or other types of potential damage or corrosive elements.