Zinc is a chemical element with the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It’s a metal that’s slightly brittle and has a greyish appearance. It’s found naturally in plants and animals.
Zinc is essential for a healthy body and plays a crucial role in many processes. It supports protein synthesis, DNA synthesis, wound healing, growth and development, and immune function.
In this article, I’ll discuss zinc’s uses in the body and the importance of this essential trace mineral.
In this post we'll cover:
- Why Zinc is Essential for a Healthy Body
- Zinc in Production Processes: The Versatile Metal for Various Products
- Zinc in Paint: The Superhero of Corrosion Protection
Why Zinc is Essential for a Healthy Body
Zinc is a chemical element with the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is a slightly brittle metal at room temperature and has a shiny-greyish appearance when oxidation is removed. Zinc is a trace mineral, meaning that the body only needs small amounts, and yet it is necessary for almost 100 enzymes to carry out vital chemical reactions.
Zinc Supports Numerous Processes in the Body
Zinc plays a crucial role in the body, supporting a wide variety of processes such as:
- Protein synthesis
- DNA synthesis
- Wound healing
- Growth and development
- Immune function
Zinc is Found Naturally in Plant and Animal Products
Zinc is mainly found in animal products such as meat, fish, and poultry, as well as in plant-based sources such as legumes, nuts, and whole grains. It is also commonly added to processed foods and sold as a dietary supplement.
Zinc is Needed for Healthy Skin, Immune System, and Eyesight
Zinc is required for the growth and development of children, and it is important for maintaining healthy skin, immune system, and eyesight. It also plays a role in the expression of genes and enzymatic reactions in the body.
Zinc Supplements and Lozenges Can Help with Cold and Wound Healing
Zinc supplements and lozenges are commonly used to help with cold and wound healing. They can also support healthy immune function and macular health. However, it is important to note that excessive zinc intake can lead to negative side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Zinc is Constantly Stored and Used in the Body
The body stores zinc in the liver, pancreas, and bone, and it is constantly used and replenished through the diet. Zinc deficiency can lead to a variety of health problems, including impaired immune function, delayed wound healing, and skin issues.
Zinc in Production Processes: The Versatile Metal for Various Products
Zinc is widely used in the production of steel products, such as roofing and cladding sheets, coated strip, and organic coated sheets. The addition of zinc to iron improves the tensile strength, reduces the coefficient of thermal expansion, and improves workability. Zinc is also used as an alloy with lead to increase the purity of the lead.
Zinc in Construction
Zinc is a popular choice for construction materials due to its durability and workability. It is commonly used as a replacement for lead in wall cladding and roofing components. Zinc-coated steel sheets are also commonly used in construction due to their resistance to corrosion and weathering.
Zinc in Galvanizing
Galvanizing is a process where zinc is applied to steel or iron to protect it from corrosion. Zinc-coated steel is commonly used in construction and other industries due to its resistance to corrosion and weathering. The process of galvanizing involves dipping the steel or iron into a bath of molten zinc, which creates a protective coating on the surface.
Zinc in Architectural Grade Products
Zinc is also used in the production of architectural grade products, such as wall cladding and roofing components. Architectural grade zinc has a high level of purity and is often made from recycled zinc. The chemical and physical properties of zinc make it an ideal material for architectural applications, as it is durable, lightweight, and easy to work with.
Zinc in Paint: The Superhero of Corrosion Protection
Zinc is a versatile inorganic element that has been used in various industries, including paint production. Zinc in paint is a game-changer, as it provides excellent corrosion protection to metals. Zinc oxide is the most common form of zinc used in paint production, and it is mixed with organic compounds to create a paint that can be applied to metal surfaces.
The Zinc Film: A Physical Barrier
When zinc-rich paint is applied to a metal surface, it creates a metallic zinc film that acts as a physical barrier. This film prevents moisture and other corrosive substances from coming into contact with the underlying steel. The zinc film also provides excellent adhesion, ensuring that the paint stays in place for an extended period.
Cathodic Protection: The Ultimate Defense
The zinc film not only acts as a physical barrier but also provides cathodic protection to the underlying steel. Cathodic protection is a technique used to protect metals from corrosion by making them the cathode in an electrochemical cell. In this case, the zinc film acts as the anode, and the underlying steel acts as the cathode. This process ensures that even if the paint is damaged, the underlying steel is still protected from corrosion.
The Application of Zinc-Rich Paint
Zinc-rich paint can be applied using various methods, including spray, brush, or roller. However, spray application is the most common method as it provides an even coating and ensures that the paint reaches all the nooks and crannies of the metal surface. The application of zinc-rich paint requires proper surface preparation, including cleaning, degreasing (here are the best degreasers), and removing any rust or old paint.
So, there you have it- everything you need to know about zinc. Zinc is a useful metal that’s needed by the body for many important functions. It’s found in many foods, and you can also take supplements. So, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor about it! You might just need a little extra.
I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.