Zinc is a bluish-white, brittle metal that has been known to man for millennia–as part of alloys such as Brass, even before it was extracted and produced on its own. The fourth most common metal in use (after Iron, Aluminum, and Copper), Zinc is extracted easily from concentrated ores.
The most significant use of Zinc is an anticorrosion agent, whereby it is applied to Iron or Steel as a coating, through the process of galvanization. This is because Zinc is more reactive than either Iron or Steel and attracts almost all local oxidation towards itself until it completely corrodes away. Beyond this, Zinc is a core ingredient for several widely used alloys. In the case of Brass, the addition of Zinc to Copper makes it stronger, more ductile and corrosion resistant. Alloys of Zinc with trace amounts of Copper, Aluminum, and Magnesium are used in die-casting, especially for the automotive, electrical, and hardware industries.
- Anti-corrosion agent and coating
- Die-casting for the automotive and electrical industries
- Fast moving hardware components; Aeronautical applications