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Sponge lead is a soft and porous form of lead. Its low thermal conductivity makes it ideal for many applications. Lead sponges are formed by injecting gas into molten metal and creating froth. They also have fire resistance and sound dampening properties.
Sponge lead is created in lead-acid storage battery cells. The positive plate of a cell contains a maximum amount of lead peroxide and the negative plate contains a minimum amount. The two plates are then immersed in a weakly concentrated sulfuric acid. This electrolyte supplies water for an electrochemical reaction. As the plates are immersed, they are mechanically pressed together. A green battery is created from this process.
Battery formation is a chemical procedure used to recharge a battery for the first time. The process involves mechanically applying active materials to the lead plates. Depending on the type of battery, the plates will be anode or cathode. Typically, the anode plate is more susceptible to corrosion and is formed on a heavier grid. Anode plates can be refilled with shipping acid and sealed with a final cover.
Lead Peroxide, the active material in a Lead Acid cell, is a dark chocolate brown compound made of lead and oxygen. Lead is a dense, soft metal with a high specific gravity. It is also resistant to corrosion. Usually, a fabric with a polymeric binder is used to retain the positive active material in the anode plate.
The negative plate is composed of sponge lead, a soft and porous form of lead. The material is then dried and pasted on a grid.