Zinc (also identified as spelter) is considered as one of the plentiful elements in the crust of the Earth. Some countries like the United States, Canada and Australia are fortunate to have abundant sources of the element. In order to produce the element, there are process that should be done such as roasting, froth floatation and extraction. This element has various applications in different industries including the wood industry. Before we proceed with the different uses of the metal, it is important to start with the history of zinc.
Who discovered zinc? According to records, German scientist Andreas Margraf discovered the element in 1746. Even if Margraf was recognized for the discovery of the element, many historians agree that the element was already used by ancient people. One of the evidences that the element was used in early societies is the prehistoric statuette that was recovered in Transylvania, which was made from 87.5 per cent zinc. Aside from this, archaeologists also found ornaments that have 80 per cent to 90 per cent zinc, which were used approximately 2,500 years ago. Above all, the recovery of the Berne zinc tablet also proved that the metal was widely used in the early times.
Additional Information and Other Important Details
This element has various uses. One of the most popular uses of the metal is in the production of batteries because it acts as an anti-corrosion agent. In addition to this, the metal is also used by experts to prevent metallic objects, which were exposed to seawater, from corrosion.
When it comes to alloys, zinc is also used to produce special alloys like brass. Aside from brass, the other popular alloys that contain the metal are aluminum solder, typewriter metal, commercial bronze and nickel silver. In addition to this, the element is one of the most important metals used in the production of American one cent coins.
In terms of industrial applications, some of the compound forms of the element are used in the creation or manufacture of paint pigment. The metal is also used in the production of rubber. Additionally, the element is useful in protecting polymers in rubber from UV rays.
Another special use of zinc is to preserve the natural state of lumber. The compound forms of the element like zinc sulfide is added to luminous paints. In addition, it is also used in the manufacture of X ray machines, television screens and clocks. Above all, zinc is one of the most essential materials used in the development of nuclear weapons.