What are Some Important Uses for Zinc

items made out of zinc

What are some important uses for zinc? Zinc although you may only hear it referred to as a dietary supplement is actually a very important metal that is used to manufacture many products that we use today.

Without zinc, we would not have brass, which is combined with copper to make brass.

Many scrappers often confuse zinc with aluminum because they look similar. In fact, they look nearly identical to one another to the untrained eye.

Within the article below on, what are some important uses for zinc I want to tell you a little about zinc as well as explain to you what to look for while out collecting scrap metal.

Zinc is worth nearly a dollar a pound and is actually one of the top four most important metals.

So what are some important uses for zinc? The metal has been used back as far as the Roman Empire.

They used zinc to make swords, spears, jewelry as well as to make some of their currency.

Today, the United States actually uses zinc as the main metal to make pennies. Older pennies made from 1909 through 1982 were made from 95% copper.

However, since then all US pennies are made of 97% zinc that is coated with a very thin layer of copper.

Zinc is mainly used these days for galvanizing. Galvanization is a process in which zinc is heated to a high temperature and then regular scrap metals such as iron or steel are dipped into the hot zinc.

This is why the guardrails on the sides of the highway look like they are aluminum.

This process is also done with chain-link fences to make them appear as though they are aluminum. The propeller on boat motors are also often coated with zinc as well.

Various metals are coated with zinc because it protects the metal that it covers. This enables regular steel to last longer because the zinc that it is coated with will wear away first.

Automobile manufacturers commonly use zinc to coat the steel bodies of their cars and trucks.

Zinc is also used in a process called electroplating. This process attaches a thin shiny layer of zinc to objects to again, protect the metal beneath it.

The shiny metal trim on cars, nails, nuts and bolts are all often electroplated with zinc.

If you have ever seen a corrugated sheet metal building or barn, that particular metal is also coated with zinc.

A perfect example of zinc coating is a trailer hitch. Once the hitch ages it turns brown. This is because the zinc coating has worn off the steel.

One of the most common types of scrap metal that scrappers complain about not being worth money is galvanized pipes.

They are actually still worth money because they are also coated with zinc. Problems with the pipes in homes that still have them occur from the pipe rusting on the inside.

This happens because way back when the pipes were manufactured many of the companies did not coat the inside of the pipe with zinc, they only coated the outside of the pipe which explains the rusted pipes that you see today.

What are some important product uses for zinc? Zinc scrap metal can be found everywhere.

Some things that you should look for are safety pins, silver nuts, silver bolts, all sizes of disposable batteries, car batteries, door hinges, door handles, faucets, screws, auto parts, nails, pennies made after 1982, jewelry and even car rotors.

Additionally most of the electronics that we use today also have scrap zinc within them that you can sell as scrap metal.

An easy way for you to tell the difference between aluminum and steel that has been coated with zinc to make it look aluminum is to use a magnet.

The aluminum should not allow the magnet to stick or if it does and the scrap metal is for sure aluminum, the magnet should barely stick to the aluminum.