In many different types of industries, including for roofing and plumbing contractors, having access to lead materials is important. Lead is also used a shielding material and even for soundproofing in professional sound studios and similar types of applications.
When using lead in sheet, roll, wire or other forms, it is common to have small amounts remaining after the project. With small to large scrapes, it is possible to melt the remaining lead down and cast them into ingots for easy storage and future use.
There are some important factors to consider with casting lead ingots. This is not a process that can be done anywhere or by those not familiar with the safety requirements and consideration of the operation.
Melting The Lead
The key factor to remember is the safety issues in melting lead. It is important to complete this process outdoors or to use the correct ventilation for the area where the lead is being heated.
It is important for all ventilation to move the air up and out, not to blow the air around, which only increase the risk of airborne lead being circulated through the area. Keeping the temperature below 900 degrees Fahrenheit eliminates the production of lead fumes, but there can still be lead dust present.
All people involved in casting lead ingots should wear a full-sleeved shirt and long pants, thick leather safety boots, gloves, and at least a dusk mask if not a full respirator. Respirators and masks are required both indoors and outside, processing of the lead.
It is important to time when you are casting lead ingots to prevent emptying the molds too soon. Signs of emptying the molds before the lead has solidified in the center include crumbling sides and molds that do not hold their shape.
Keep in mind that ambient temperature, air flow, and any other materials in the lead will also impact the rate at which the lead cools and solidifies.