Zinc is one of the most important three metals coming after aluminium and copper among the non-ferrous metals.

These three metals are mainly used in the production of special alloys and brass alloys used in the casting industry for increasing resistance to corrosion of iron and steel.

Zinc is also used in the manufacturing of zinc plates, in roofing materials and in the tire industry (as ZnO). The properties of the zinc alloys and compounds should be well-known in terms of their use. In commercial terms, no significant decline in the importance of zinc is observed. Despite the fact that there is a race between zinc and other metals in some areas of application, the importance of zinc is never decreased.

Almost 50% of total zinc consumption is used in galvanized steel production, 20% in brass production, 15% in casting, 8% in zinc oxide production and 7% in semi-fabricated products. Due to its ecotoxic effect, consumption of zinc is limited in certain areas (especially in the building and construction sectors). Today, aluminium, magnesium and plastics are used as zinc substitute materials especially in the automotive industry.

Since there is no domestic smelting opportunity of sulfuric minerals produced in the country, they are sold abroad as temporary or direct exports as enriched zinc-lead ores or concentrates. In addition to this, zinc is exported as run-of-mine, concentrated and calcined product as well.

Zinc was first used in 2000s BC by the Chinese and Romans as an alloy material in brass production. The oldest known zinc archaeological remains were found in the prehistoric Dacian settlement in Doroseh province of Transylvania in Romania. As a result of the analyses made on this piece of sculpture, it was determined that it contains 87.5% Zn, 11.5% Pb and 1% Fe. In India, it is known that zinc was used as metal in AC 1000-1300, and that it was smelted for commercial purposes in the 14th century. The first scientific studies on zinc metal were carried out by Paracelsus (1490-1541). The entry of zinc into the European market dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries.

Nowadays, zinc has the highest annual consumption rate in terms of quantity after steel, aluminium and copper in the world. Zinc is used in the production of many alloys and compounds in the industry because it is chemically active and can easily alloy with other metals. Due to its strong electropositive characteristic, it is used to protect other metals, especially iron and steel products, against erosion. There are five main areas in which the produced zinc metal is consumed as the main product. These are galvanizing, die-casting alloys, brass and bronze alloys, zinc oxide and rolled zinc alloys. Zinc is a silver-coloured metal with an atomic weight of 65.39 g/mol and an atomic number of 30. Its low boiling temperature is conspicuous. This value is especially important in the production of pyro-metallurgical metals. It is solid and brittle when casted. It can be shaped at 120 0C. In the electrochemical potential sequence, it has a more negative value than iron. In this way, zinc has an important use in cathodic corrosion protection as an anode. Galvanizing is one of these applications.

Resource: MTA

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