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Zinc Essay

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Below is an essay on "Zinc" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Zinc (Zn) is an abundant metal found in Earth’s crust with myriad industrial and biological uses. At room temperature it is brittle and blue-white in color, and can be polished to a bright finish. Zinc deficiency is a common side effect of malnutrition and affects approximately one third of the global population, causing immune system and metabolic illnesses. Although zinc compounds have been used for at least 2,500 years in the production of brass, zinc wasn't recognized as a distinct element until much later. Metallic zinc was first produced in India sometime in the 1400s by heating the mineral calamine (ZnCO3) with wool. Zinc was rediscovered by Andreas Sigismund Marggraf in 1746 in Germany by heating calamine with charcoal. Today, most zinc is produced through the electrolysis of aqueous zinc sulfate (ZnSO4). Roughly one third of all metallic zinc produced today is used in a process known as galvanization. During galvanization, an object that is subject to corrosion, such as an iron nail, is given a protective coating of zinc. The zinc can be applied to an object by dipping it in a pool of molten zinc, but it is most often applied through an electroplating process. Sacrificial zinc anodes are used in cathodic protection systems to protect exposed iron from corrosion. Zinc is a weak metal with a tensile strength less than half that of mild carbon steel. It is generally not used in load-bearing applications, although inexpensive mechanical parts can be diecast from zinc. Between 212-302 oF zinc becomes ductile and malleable, but at elevated temperatures reverts to a brittle state. Again, zinc alloys greatly improve on this property over the pure metal, allowing more complex fabrication methods to be used. Metallic zinc is also used to make dry cell batteries, roof cladding and die castings. Zinc oxide (ZnO), a common zinc compound, forms when metallic zinc is exposed to the air and forms a protective coating that protects the rest of the metal. Zinc oxide is used...

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