A very versatile and sustainable material, zinc plays a key role in a variety of industrial and product applications that facilitate modern life.
More than 14 million tonnes of zinc are produced annually worldwide; 54 per cent of this amount is used for galvanising to protect steel from corrosion. Approximately 15 per cent goes into the production of zinc-based alloys, mainly for use by the die-casting industry, and 14 per cent is used to produce brass. Significant amounts are also utilised for compounds, such as zinc oxide and zinc sulphate, and for zinc-sheet applications, including roofing, gutters and downpipes.
These first-use suppliers then convert zinc into in a broad range of products. The main applications, for zinc products are in construction (45 per cent), transport (25 per cent), consumer goods and electrical appliances (23 per cent), and general engineering (seven per cent).