Counterweights, as the name suggests, is a means of providing a weight to counter an existing one. They are used to provide balance. Although it is possible to purchase them in different materials, lead remains one of the most common metals in use. In fact, lead counterweights are readily available for diverse industrial, construction, and military applications.
Lead counterweights are employed in many systems. Common applications include:
- Construction projects: This includes bridges (swing and lift) and buildings
- Cranes: Counterweights balance the load the crane intends to move.
- Elevators: This type of counterweight reduces the stress on the motor of the elevator. At the same time, it increases the acceleration force of ascending and decreases the descending force. The result is a smooth ride for the passengers.
- Funfair rides: This particularly applies to such swinging rides as those referred to as pendulum rides. Common examples are the Magic Carpet and Tidal Wave. Elevator drop rides also possess counterweights.
- Marine ballast: Lead provides the ideal ballast for many naval vessels. The intent is to counter water buoyancy, therefore providing stability – particularly effective for application with sailing ships. The lead ballast may be incorporated into the keel of the ship or placed inside the actual vessel in the form of balls, blocks or ingots.
In addition to the above uses, counterweights made from lead are often utilized in other items including certain types of desk lamps, many forklifts, specific types of golf clubs and even window sashes.
Lead can act as a weight or a counterweight for many applications . These range from small custom-designed weights to counterweights for large construction projects. In fact, lead counterweights are available for use in a variety of large and small industrial projects. Whether the material is the standard pig lead or precision custom cast lead depends upon the supplier, the project, and the customer.