Lead is a chemical element with symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a heavy metal that is denser than most common materials. Lead is soft and malleable, and also has a relatively low melting point.
As we mentioned lead sputtering target is a soft metal and soft metals have many properties that make them useful as solid lubricants for special situations. For example when we look at lead sputtering targets, we can say that it has low shear strengths and ability to be applied as continuous films over harder substrates. And also lead is good conductor of heat and electricity and is stable in vacuum or when exposed to nuclear radiation
Lead can be deposited as lubricating films on harder substrates by physical vapor deposition methods, such as evaporation, sputtering, and ion plating. Ion plating and vacuum sputtering permit close control of film deposition and thickness and can provide good adhesion to the substrate.
Thin-metal-film lubrication is most relevant at high temperatures or in applications where sliding is limited like rolling-element bearings. According to the studies done by NASA state that lead films have been very successful for long-term, rolling-element bearing lubrication in space mechanisms. The advantage of lead films which can be obtained by using sputtering targets over those of silver or indium is the unavoidable presence of lead oxide, a reputedly good solid lubricant, within the films.
We can say that lead films are used for many years to lubricate rolling-element bearings on rotating anode x-ray tubes, on satellite parts operating in space, and on other equipment exposed to high temperatures and nuclear radiation.
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