Lead has a lower melting point compared to most metals i.e., 327.5 degrees Celsius (Or 621.5 degrees Fahrenheit).
What Affects Lead’s Melting Point?
While the melting point of lead stands at 327.6 degrees Celsius, lead (and other metals) can melt at different levels depending on several factors discussed below;
I. External Pressure
Lead’s melting point can be lowered further if there is external pressure in action. Like all metals, lead is affected by atmospheric pressure, or pressure exerted when a reaction is done within a container.
The metal band in question also determines the melting point of a metal. Metallic compounds with an ionic bond have higher melting points compared to those metals with covalent bonds. When pure, lead’s melting point is bound to be unchanged. However, when lead oxides are present due to reactions with other substances and atmospheric gases, lead forms covalent bonds that are bound to lower the melting point.
III. Impurities & Other Metals
If the lead-in question has impurities or other metals present, the melting point is bound to be increased or decreased based on the impurities and/or other metals in question. Generally, impurities will broaden the melting range because they introduce defects and make it easier for interactions between metal molecules to be surpassed.
In a nutshell, the melting point of lead decreases as impurities increase. When other metals are in question, the strength of the resulting metallic bond will determine if the melting point will increase or decrease.
Why Should I Care About the Melting Temperature of Lead and Other Metals?
You may be asking yourself why it matters to know what temp does lead melts. Well, the melting point of lead and other metals is critical in many aspects, from production to usage. Understanding melting points is crucial for the proper real-time application of metals. Here are the top reasons why the melting point of lead and other metals matter.
I. It’s easy to Detect Failure
You can detect failure points in metal when you are aware of the melting point. Checking for areas exposed to higher than recommended temperature and pressure is easier when you know the temperature and pressure limits.
II. Reduce Failure Risks
By understanding the limits of your metal, you can be able to choose safe applications with ease and reduce failure risks. For instance, lead materials should never be exposed to temperatures near or high as the melting point for obvious reasons.
III. Allows for Modification
You must know a metal’s melting point to understand how to modify it. Lead and other metals can be modified easily when heated. However, too much heat can change the form. You must know the precise melting point to create the perfect shape.
IV. Better Procedural Implementation
Metals undergo many processes ranging from smelting to casting and fusion welding. Many other processes come into play in manufacturing. Understanding the melting point ensures error-free and safe procedures.
V. Safer and Better Storage and Transportation
The melting point of metal will determine the best storage and transportation methods. Storage exposes metals to variable pressure and temperature changes. Transportation has the same effect. For lead or any other metal to be stored or moved safely, the melting point must be known.
VI. Predict Behavior
Lastly, the melting point allows accurate behavioral predictions. Understanding the melting point of a metal, among other properties is critical for predicting how that metal is bound to react in different states or when exposed to different conditions. For instance, lead pipes are ideal for hot water applications since these temperatures are far from the melting point.
Is the Melting Point of Lead Different from the Boiling Point?
To answer this question, we must understand the difference between what temp does lead melt and what temp does lead boil. The boiling point and melting point are two different things. The melting point of a metal describes the point at which the metal turns into a liquid (melts). The boiling point of a metal describes the transformation from liquid to gas i.e., the temperature at which a metal’s vapor pressure equals its atmospheric pressure and the pressure of gases above it, if present. The boiling point of lead is, therefore, higher than the melting point – 1,749 degrees Celsius.