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Zinc is the fourth most widely used industrial metal, surpassed only by iron, aluminum, and copper; however, in most uses, zinc loses its identity in the end products. Zinc is used as protective coatings on steel; as diecastings, mainly for vehicles and construction; as an alloying metal with copper to make brass; and as chemical compounds in rubber and paints. Zinc-coated steel is extensively used for military and industrial structures, off-road machinery, transmission and radar towers, bridges, ships, and highways. Brass is widely used for shell casings and motor bearings, and complex zinc diecastings are important components of internal combustion engines and electronic and scientific equipment. A host of other applications of zinc have made it indispensible to the industrial world. This Bureau of Mines report presents comprehensive data on zinc including strategic considerations, problems, technology trends and developments, reserves-resources, supply-demand relationships, economic factors and problems, and operating factors and problems.
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division