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Engineering Materials - Nonferrous Metals - Zinc

Materials: Non-Ferrous Metals

Non - Ferrous Metals


Zinc is a silvery blue-grey metal with a relatively low melting point (419.5°C) and boiling point (907°C). When unalloyed, its strength and hardness is greater than that of tin or lead, but appreciably less than that of aluminium or copper. The pure metal cannot be used in stressed applications due to low creep-resistance. For these reasons most uses of zinc are after alloying with small amounts of other metals or as a protective coating for steel.

Uses -

One of the most useful characteristics of zinc is its resistance to atmospheric corrosion, and just over half of its use is for the protection of steelwork. In addition to its metal and alloy forms, zinc also extends the life of other materials such as steel (by hot dipping or electrogalvanizing), rubber and plastics (as an aging inhibitor), and wood (in paints). Zinc is also used to make brass, bronze, and die-casting alloys in plate, strip, and coil; foundry alloys; superplastic zinc; and activators and stabilizers for plastics.

Mechanical and physical properties -

Tensile strength (cast) : 28MN/m² (4,000 psi)
- (rolled - with grain)
- (99.95% zinc soft temper) : 126MN/m² (18,000 psi)
- (98.0% zinc hard temper) : 246MN/m² (35,000 psi)
Elongation :
- (rolled - with grain)
- (99.95% zinc soft temper) : 65%
- (98.0% zinc hard temper) : 5%
Modulus of elasticity : 7 X 104 MN/m² (1 X 107 psi)
Brinell hardness, 500 kg load :
- for 30 sec. : 30
Impact resistance :
- (pressed zinc, elongation = 30%) : 6.5-9 J/cm² (26-35 ft-1bs/in²)
Surface tension - liquid (450°C) : 0.755 N/m
Surface tension - liquid (419.5°C) : 0.782 N/m
Viscosity-liquid (419.5°C) : 0.00385 N/m
Velocity of sound (20°C) : 3.67 km/s
Coefficient of friction :
- (rolled zinc v rolled zinc) : 0.21
Hardness : 2.5 mohs



Relatively few metals besides zirconium can be used in chemical processes requiring alternate contact with strong acids and alkalis. Major uses for zirconium and its alloys are as a construction material in the chemical-processing industry.


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