Study of Matter Compounds  Elmhurst College
Atoms Physical Properties Mixtures  Chemistry Department
Elements Chemical Properties    Virtual ChemBook


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 Zinc, Zn

Zinc has the symbol Zn.

Atomic Number = 30, Atomic Mass = 65.39, 30 protons, 30 electrons, 35 neutrons.

First isolated by

Most common uses:

The alloy brass contains copper and anywhere from 20-45% of zinc, depending upon the type of brass. Brass is easy to work and is a good electrical conductor.

A large proportion of all zinc, perhaps more than a third, is used used to galvanize metals such as iron so as to prevent corrosion. Typically this involves dipping the object to be coated in molten zinc for a short time

The oxide (ZnO) is used in the manufacture of paints, rubber products, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, floor coverings, plastics, printing inks, soap, textiles, electrical equipment, and other products. It is also used in ointments.

Physical Properties:

Zinc is a bluish-white, lustrous metal. It is brittle at ambient temperatures but is malleable at 100 to 150°C. It is a reasonable conductor of electricity.

The density of zinc is 7.140 g/mL, which means the metal will sink in water and is relatively heavy.

Chemical Properties:

Most zinc production is based upon sulfide ores. These are roasted in industrial plants to form zinc oxide, ZnO. This may then be reduced with carbon to form zinc metal.

Zinc burns in air at high red heat with evolution of white clouds of the zinc oxide.

The graphic on the left shows an exothermic reaction of zinc metal and iodine element reacting to form zinc iodide.