Zinc is extracted from ore, mainly sphalerite, which is rich in zinc sulphide. Like many non-ferrous metals, the metal content of the ores has never stopped falling. Zinc ores often also contain lead and silver. In such cases, they are extracted together and then separated by chemical processes.
One of the main uses of zinc is as a deposit on steels to protect them from corrosion; this is known as galvanisation, and products resulting from this are used in the automotive industry, household appliances and industrial equipment. China is the largest producer of refined zinc metal, accounting for 33.7% of global production. There are also many zinc deposits in Peru and Australia.
At Inovacomm, we mainly work with Zamak, an alloy of zinc, aluminium, magnesium and copper, where zinc is the main component. This material lets us create thin parts with quite complex structures.
Zinc is easy to work with – it is relatively light and very malleable, making it easy to shape. It can be used anywhere and easily adapted to specific shapes and/or structures.
This material has a long service life and requires little maintenance as it is strong, waterproof and corrosion resistant. Zinc is aesthetically pleasing – its anthracite grey colour with a blue sheen gives it a beautiful appearance that is ideal for making elegant objects. It is also an excellent thermal and electrical conductor.
Finally, it is fully recyclable and environmentally friendly. Zinc can be recycled indefinitely without losing its original properties or its quality.
As an excellent thermal and electrical conductor, it is a poor thermal and acoustic insulator. It is therefore essential to add suitable and compatible insulation when zinc is used for housing.
Zinc is quite expensive to buy, compared to steel and aluminium.
Mining has significant collateral effects on the environment and human civilisation. However, various new trade unions and the recent reform of the mining code allow better management and operating conditions aligned with environmental law.
We would be happy to produce your next zinc item. Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your future project.