We face lots of applications of counterweights. And there are also many materials for counterweights, like lead counterweights, tungsten counterweights, and steel counterweights.
1. Definition of Counterweight
A counterweight is an object which is used to apply an opposite force, to provide balance and stability to a mechanical system.
2. Purpose of Counterweight
Using a counterweight can make the load be lifted stably and efficiently for a machine. It can also save energy and reduce harm to the machine.
3. Application of Counterweight
Counterweights can be used in different industries like aircraft, marine, oil & gas, automobiles, crane/forklift, elevators, sports gear, etc..,.
4. Shape of Counterweight
The counterweight can be simple shapes like rods, plates, sheets, or discs or they can be machined to complex geometrics. This is based on the place where it will be put.
5. Materials of Counterweight
As referred above, there are three types of materials. Lead, tungsten, and steel.
Steel is a good material. It can be machined easily and has a relatively lower price.
But if a place needs weight, then we turn to try lead or tungsten.
Lead has a low melting temperature. It can be melted into steel shells or other components.
And it can be cast into different shapes for certain rooms.
It has a higher price than steel but with a much higher density.
If you have an environmental requirement, we do not recommend using lead.
So the third option is tungsten.
Tungsten is made from APT powder. After metallurgy processes, it can be formed into different shapes.
This metal has the highest density among the three types. It is 41 percent denser than lead. With this special property, tungsten counterweights are heavier in the same dimensions. And tungsten is more environmentally friendly. With higher requirements raised about pollution, tungsten has replaced many applications with lead.
Among tungsten, we normally use tungsten heavy alloy for counterbalance weights. Tungsten alloy has a density from 17.0g/cm3 to 18.8g/cm3. And it is more machinable than tungsten. Pure Tungsten is too brittle to machine and easy to have chips. Tungsten alloy counterweights are made by processes: Powder mixing—pressing—sintering—machining.
There are different shapes of counterweights: rods, bars, blocks, discs, and also more complex dimensions.