The material. When the Romans conquered Britain in 43 AD they discovered rich deposits of lead ore and started a mining and refining industry that was to continue for 1000 years (the symbol for lead, Pb, derives from its Latin name: plumbum). They used it for pipes, cisterns, and roofs, this last a use that continues to the present day. The biggest single use of lead (70% of the total) is as electrodes in lead acid batteries.
Pb + 0 to 25% Sb or 0 to 60 % Sn, sometimes with some Ca.
Lead weathers well and is exceptionally durable and corrosion resistant.
Typical uses. Roofs, wall cladding, pipe work, window seals, and flooring in buildings; sculpture and table wear as pewter; solder for electrical circuits and for mechanical joining, bearings, printing type, ammunition, pigments, X-ray shielding, corrosion-resistant material in the chemical industry and electrodes for lead acid batteries.