All you have to know about zinc
For over 160 years VMZINC has been providing innovative building solution for architects and contractors around the world. At VMZINC China, we are totally committed to your success in applying versatile and durable solutions with this remarkable material.
This section will help you, to familiarize yourself with zinc. We encourage you to read thoroughly too also consider VMZINC China as a source of information and as a safety factor in the success of your project.
Thanks to its patina, rolled zinc is a very durable material.
More information refer to Zinc and Sustainability
How a patina is formed
The light grey patina takes between six months and two years to form, depending on the components of the atmosphere, the climate and the exposure of the site. This patina results from the reaction of zinc to the main components of the atmosphere when there is water present. It forms in two stages:
- The zinc reacts to the atmospheric oxygen, creating the formation of zinc hydroxide,
- The reaction of these zinc hydroxydes to carbon dioxide form zinc hydroxicarbonate which is the main component of the patina.
The patina is compact, adhesive and is very insoluble in rainwater. Therefore it protects zinc and slows down its interaction with components in the air.
Zinc is naturally resistant to corrosion, it protects itself by developing a patina that gives it an exceptional long life span. With an average corrosion rate of 1 µm/year, even 0,70 mm rolled zinc can achieve 70 to 100 years life depending on the environment.
In addition to its long life span, zinc is a low maintenance material. It does not have a coating or varnish that wears out over time and needs to be reapplied. In fact, zinc continues to develop a protective layer (patina) throughout its life and will self-repair imperfections or scratches.
VMZINC provides the freedom to create architectural masterpieces which are difficult to realise with other construction materials. It is very malleable and can therefore meet virtually every architectural demand and provide solutions that less flexible materials cannot. Architects appreciate this versatility which allows them great freedom of expression in designing the roof and cladding of a building. Zinc resolves a large number of design issues and allows interesting treatments of corners and angles, creating an almost infinite variety of shapes: straight, curved, convex or concave.
Zinc is a non-toxic, durable, recyclable and plentiful material. As an essential trace element, zinc is also vital to biological equilibrium and growth. Zinc used in the building industry is 100% recycled, putting it far ahead of many other materials which are just taking their first steps in recycling. Less energy is required to produce zinc than the other principal metals. The energy balance is even more favourable in recycled zinc. This excellent result clearly proves the contribution of VMZINC to sustainable development.