All you need to know about zinc
For over 160 years VMZINC has been providing innovative building solution for architects and contractors around the world. At VMZINC, we are totally committed to your success in applying versatile and durable solutions.
Thanks to its patina, rolled zinc is a very durable material.
How the patina is formed
The light grey patina takes between six months and two years to form, depending on the climate, the exposure of the site and the composition of the atmosphere. The patina is made up of two parts, first a very compact layer consisting of very dense basic zinc carbonate crystals is formed and adheres to the zinc. This first layer protects the zinc completely and slows down its interaction with the oxygen in the air. A second, less uniform layer, made up of zinc oxide or hydroxide, which is less adhesive and more porous, is also formed. Although it plays a less important role, it is still useful as it neutralises the effect of rain and other external factors on the zinc.
Zinc is naturally resistant to corrosion, it protects itself by developing a patina that gives it an exceptional long lifespan. With an average corrosion rate of 1µm/year, even very thin (0.7 mm) rolled zinc can achieve 70 to 100 years life depending on the environment.
In addition to its long lifespan, zinc is a low maintenance material. It does not have a coating or varnish that wears out over time needing 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 craft architectural masterpieces which are difficult to create 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 when designing a building. Zinc resolves a large number of design issues helping to create an almost infinite variety of shapes: straight, curved, convex or concave.
Whether it is used in renovation or new construction, traditional or contemporary designs, zinc is an elegant partner for many building envelopes, blending with wood, glass, stone and other materials in complete harmony.
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% recyclable, 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.
For more information refer to Zinc and Sustainability