Zinc is a metal with symbol Zn, with low toughness and high malleability, but highly resistant to impacts and moderately conductive. Alchemists burned Zinc in air to form what they called "philosopher's wool" or "white snow". The element was probably named by the alchemist Paracelsus after the German word Zinke (prong, tooth). Zinc alloy handcrafts have been dated back to 500 B.C., and even 2-3 centuries earlier Zinc was already used together with Copper to produce Brass. During the Roman Empire, Zinc was employed as an alloying element for Bronze to cast coins, weapons and art crafts. Alessandro Volta created the first battery in the XIX Century using Copper and Zinc plates, bringing the world forward to a new technological age.
The main countries mining Zinc are China, Peru, Australia, the United States and Canada, for a total volume of almost 15 million metric tonnes per year. Zinc is primarily used in order in galvanisation, to protect Steel against corrosion. Alloys produced with the use of Zinc, such as Brass, are applied in such manufactures as stainless marine components and musical instruments. Over two billion pennies are now circulating on US market, and they are made of Zinc by 98% of their weight. Despite their Copper appearance, these coins only have a Copper coating representing just 2% of the total weight.
Pure Zinc: Zn 99,995% min.
Zinc Alloys: Zamak 3 (Zn3) | Zamak 5 (Zn5) | Zamak 12 (Zn12) | Zamak 13 (Zn13) | Zamak 15 (Zn15)