Physical And Chemical Properties Of Zinc

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As an essential factor to sustain life and the ultimate protector within numerous industries, the element zinc exists as a crucial factor within the world’s scientific realm. This bluish-white, lustrous metal was previously used in various industrial alloys and for medicinal purposes as early as 2,500 years ago by the Romans and Palestinians (“Zinc,” 2016). Greater rates of zinc production then began in India during the 13th century by heating mineral calamine with wool, yet no reference to it being its own discrete metal with its own scientific properties was made until years later (“Zinc,” 2016). Therefore, despite its initial use in earlier centuries, zinc was first recognized as a distinct element by Andreas Marggraf, a German chemist, …show more content…
Its physical properties are specific traits that can be observed or measured to characterize the element without any reference to chemical changes (Brown, LeMay, Bursten, Murphy, Woodward, & Stoltzfus, 2015). This includes Zinc’s unique melting point of 419.53 degrees Celsius and boiling point of 907 degrees Celsius, density of 7.14 g/cm3, and the fact that it is a solid and displays no ductile or malleable properties at room temperature (Dayah, 1997; “Zinc,” 2016). It is also a good conductor of electricity, is hard and brittle at most temperatures, becomes malleable when the temperature begins to exceed 100 degrees Celsius (Dayah, 1997). On the other hand, its chemical properties, which are characteristics of an element that become evident when an element undergoes a chemical reaction, further differentiate Zinc from other elements and metals upon the periodic table (Brown, LeMay, Bursten, Murphy, Woodward, & Stoltzfus, 2015). Such properties include Zinc’s existence as a moderately reactive metal and strong reducing agent, its ability to dissolve in acids and alkalis, and its display of a bluish-green flame when burned in the air (Dayah, …show more content…
Due to its extensive anti-corrosive properties, zinc plays an important role in the automobile industry and in construction. Therefore, the majority of extracted zinc (about 55%) is used to galvanize other metals, like steel and iron, in order to prevent rusting (Dayah, 1997). Zinc-coated, or galvanized, steel is used in the bodies of cars, steel bridges, lamp posts, on roofs, fencing, guard rails, and a variety of other metal structures (Royal Society of Chemistry [RSC], 2016). Zinc is also important in the making of alloys (RSC, 2016). Most of these alloys are used in the die-casting industry and in the production of brass, aluminum solder, nickel silver, or bronze (RSC, 2016). Zinc is also used in the formation of useful compounds, such as zinc oxide or zinc sulfate; these compounds can then be used in an array of product such as paint, cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, soap, rubber, batteries, x-ray equipment, or even florescent lights (RSC, 2016). Refer to Figure 3 in order to compare the first and end uses of zinc as an industrial and commercial

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