Eric Bastow: Today, we're going to be talking about a heavy metal – not heavy metal the kind of music, but a heavy metal – lead. Lead has a very high melting point of 327 degrees C. For that reason, when alloyed, you can make a lot of high-temperature alloy, specifically solders, that can endure high-temperature electrical applications, like oil and gas explorations. Something like that, where it's downhole, and gets really hot.
Lead is typically alloyed with things like tin, and/or indium, and sometimes silver, when making solder alloys. You can see I'm wearing a blue glove; the reason I'm wearing this blue glove is because lead is toxic. Actually, in some parts of the world, lead is banned in various forms and applications.
As a solder, alloys that contain up to 85% of lead are banned. It may sound counterintuitive, but there is an exemption in place that still allows the use of high-lead allows – alloys that contain more than 85% lead. The reason that exemption exists is because, to date, there has not been discovered a proven replacement for high-lead alloys.
In the meantime, those high-lead alloys are still available and allowed for use. Lead, heavy metal, it is toxic. If you're interested in high-lead alloys, please contact us, at AskUs@indium.com.