Understanding Corrosion in Water Pipelines: A Guide for Pipeline Designers



Last updated: February 23, 2019

What Does Leadite Mean?

Leadite is a pipe joint sealing compound containing sulfur that was used as an alternative to lead. Leadite become popular in part due to a lead shortage during the two world wars in the first half of the 1900s. Leadite is now considered obsolete and has been almost entirely replaced by other means of joint sealing.


Corrosionpedia Explains Leadite

Leadite was developed in the beginning of the 20th century and was still in use up until the 1970s, with its popularity declining over time. It is a plasticized form of sulfur that was adequate to seal certain types of joints, especially pipe joints.

Despite its name, leadite actually contains no lead. Following its initial invention and implementation, leadite was found to have several disadvantages. One major disadvantage is that it contains a large amount of sulfur that can cause corrosion of the pipe joint it is sealing and eventually lead to pipe failure. Leadite also has quite different mechanical and thermal properties than steel and iron pipes, which can result in joint failure even before corrosive failure occurs.


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