Info on Zinc

What is Zinc? (

Zinc is a versatile mineral that we encounter in our daily lives. Zinc is found in a variety of products including zinc creams, sunblocks and vitamins. However, zinc is primarily used for the galvanizing of steel, for die-castings and in the production of brass and zinc oxides.

Did you know? – The largest zinc mine in the world is the Red Dog Mine operated by Teck Resources. and is located in Alaska, north of the Arctic Circle.

Health - Zinc is essential to both our physical and mental health. From healthy skin, hair and nails, to muscle, nerve and brain functions, zinc plays a key role. Teeth, bones, the healing process, and the immune and reproduction systems are all dependent on a sufficient amount of zinc in our bodies.

Transportation – Zinc castings, which have excellent dimensional stability, are used in everything from automobiles and electronic components to children’s toys. Zinc components can be large, such as truck axle tubes or so small that they are barely visible and weigh only a fraction of an ounce. Today’s automobiles contain about 40 pounds of zinc, primarily in the zinc coating on galvanized steel body panels. The delicate instrument panels in today’s jet airliners are fabricated from zinc. And today’s ship builders use zinc anodes to protect the steel hulls of ships against the highly corrosive effects of salt water.

Home Furnishings – Your refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine and clothes dryer are just a few of the labor-saving devices in your home that contain a host of zinc die-cast components. Zinc sulfide enables your TV picture tube to display blue and green. Zinc is alloyed with copper to form brass, which increases the strength and castability, and imparts an appealing golden color.

Outside Your Home – Builders depend on the structural strength and corrosion resistance of zinc-coated (galvanized) steel. Products include structural framing, railings, garage doors, roofing, pre-painted exterior wall panels and zinc-protected fastening devices, such as screws, nails and brackets. In your yard, such everyday functional and recreational items as garbage cans, swing sets, fences and gates, garden tools, patio furniture, storage sheds, cutters and swimming pools all contain zinc, the one metal that assures maximum rust protection.

Did you know? – Zinc is called the Great Protector – it is used to protect metals (galvanizing) as well as humans, in products such as sun screen (zinc oxide), zinc lozenges, or vitamins.

Did you know? – Since 1982 U.S. minted "copper" pennies have actually been 97.6 percent zinc, with just a 2.4 percent copper coating.

Zinc Fact – In 1996, an estimated 355,000 tons of zinc in waste and scrap was recovered in the form of slab zinc, brass, zinc-base alloys, dust, oxide, and other chemicals.

Zinc’s Future – One of zinc’s major advantages is that it is recyclable. In North America alone, approximately one third of the zinc consumed annually comes from recycled material. The zinc industry is firmly committed to increasing that ratio, further reducing the requirements for virgin ores, energy, air and water.

What is Zinc?

  • Zinc is essential to life.  Every cell requires zinc to multiply. Your body requires zinc to make white blood cells.  Zinc is essential for healthy skin.  It is a natural element found in every cell of your body, in the earth, in the food you eat and in products everywhere.
  • Zinc is at the forefront of health research.  
  • Zinc is vital during pregnancy.  It is essential for the developing fetus where cells are rapidly dividing.  
  • A zinc deficiency is implicated in deteriorating vision that accompanies the aging process.  Zinc boosts brain activity.
  • Zinc oxide has been used for years to soothe diaper rash and relieve itching.
  • Zinc stimulates the transport of Vitamin A from the liver to the skin.
  • Zinc gluconate lozenges taken at the first sign of a cold reduces duration and symptom severity by 42%.   Insufficient zinc has been linked to anorexia, which responds well to zinc replacement treatment.  Zinc abnormalities also often exist in mood disorder patients.   Zinc is a vital nutrient.  It stimulates growth, fights infection and heals wounds.
  • Zinc is used throughout the world largely to protect steel against rust.  More than 5.2 million metric tons of zinc are consumed annually in the Western World.  Zinc’s unique properties allow it to be cast into an array of precision parts for automobiles, airplanes and appliances. 
  • Brass, an alloy of zinc and copper, has been used for more than 3,000 years.  
  • Zinc is recyclable.  More than one-third of the zinc consumed in North America is produced from recycled material. Over 2 million tons of zinc are recycled annually.  Zinc can be recycled again and again and still maintain its properties.  This means that zinc can be recycled forever.    
  • The U.S. Penny is 98% zinc, with a copper coating. 
  • Zinc powder is a component in alkaline batteries. 
  • European-style zinc countertops, bars and other architectural accouterments are becoming the hot new trend among American restaurateurs.
  • The best source of zinc is lean red meats and seafoods, especially oysters.  

The Element Zinc is defined as:

A bluish-white, lustrous metallic element that is brittle at room temperature but malleable with heating. It is used to form a wide variety of alloys including brass, bronze, various solders, and nickel silver, in galvanizing iron and other metals, for electric fuses, anodes, and meter cases, and in roofing, gutters, and various household objects.

What are the origins of the word Zinc?

The name originates from the German word 'zin' meaning tin.

Facts about the Classification of the Element Zinc:

Zinc is classified as a "Transition Metal" which are located in Groups 3 - 12 of the Periodic Table. An Element classified as a Transition Metals is ductile, malleable, and able to conduct electricity and heat.

Brief Facts about the Discovery and History of the Element Zinc:

Zinc alloys have been used since ancient times by the Asians, Greeks, Chinese and Romans. Zinc was discovered by the chemist Andreas Marggraf in 1746. It was isolated two years earlier by Anton von Swab.

Occurrence of the element Zinc in the Atmosphere:

Obtained from zinc blende & calamine

Zinc is the fourth most common metal in use

Common Uses of Zinc:

  • Die castings by the automobile industry
  • Used to form a wide variety of alloys
  • Galvanizing metals
  • Electric fuses
  • Anodes
  • Rolled zinc is used as part of the containers of batteries
  • Zinc oxide is used in paints, chloride used as a deodorant, chloride used as a wood preservative, sulfide is used in luminescents
  • Medical use to treat rashes
  • Meter cases
  • Roofing
  • Gutters
  • Zinc phosphate

The Properties of the Element Zinc:

Name of Element : Zinc

Symbol of Element : Zn

Atomic Number of Zinc : 30

Atomic Mass: 65.39 amu

Melting Point: 419.58 °C - 692.73 °K

Boiling Point: 907.0 °C - 1180.15 °K

Number of Protons/Electrons in Zinc : 30

Number of Neutrons in Zinc : 35

Crystal Structure: Hexagonal

Density @ 293 K: 7.133 g/cm3

Color of Zinc : bluish-white

©2008 Canada Zinc Metals Corp.
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