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Zinc is a moderately reactive metal that will combine with oxygen and other non-metals, and will react with dilute acids to release hydrogen. The one common oxidation state of zinc is +2.


Zinc is the fourth most common metal in use, trailing only iron, aluminium, and copper in annual production.

  • Zinc is used to galvanize steel to prevent corrosion.
  • Zinc is used in alloys such as brass, nickelled silver, typewriter metal and various soldering formulas.
  • Zinc is used as part of the containers of batteries.
  • Zinc oxide is used as a white pigment in watercolours or paints, and as an activator in the rubber industry. It can protect against sunburn in the summer and windburn in the winter.
  • Zinc chloride is used as a deodorant and can be used as a wood preservative.
  • Zinc sulfide is used in luminescent pigments.
  • Zinc methyl (Zn(CH3)2) is used in a number of organic syntheses.
  • Zinc stearate is a lubricative plastic additive.