Zinc Oxide is a critical chemical in the manufacturing of almost all rubber products. It acts as an activator of accelerators used in the manufacturing of rubber products. It is also a pigment and reinforcing agent in rubber. Zinc Oxide is amphoteric and soluble in both acid and alkalies. In addition, it is soluble in ammonium salt solutions. This reactivity is utilised in many ways, for instance, in acid solutions, the oxide is added to raise the pH level or to form a water-soluble zinc compound, which is beneficial to the process. In the ammoniacal lactics used in the production of foam rubber, the oxide is added to lower the pH level and to gel the foam. Zinc Oxide neutralizes any acid decomposition in products thereby stabilizing the decomposition during storage. In rubber vulcanisation, the oxide also reacts to form components that improves the product quality.
As a pigment in linseed oil exterior paints, Zinc Oxide acts as a shield by absorbing the ultraviolet rays of the sun, toughens the films by formation of zinc soaps, and inhibits mold and mildew formation through its fungistatic properties. In metal priming paints, the oxide aids suspension and improves water resistance through soap formation.
Zinc Oxide reduces the coefficient of thermal expansion, imparts high brilliance, lustre and high stability against deformation under stress. Most glazed ceramics like tiles and bathroom fittings etc use Zinc Oxide.
The quantity in feed is 50 p.p.m (equal to 0.005%) zinc by weight: 50 grams of zinc per metric ton or 1.6 ounces of zinc per ton of feed. It is an essential mineral supplement for animals.
The optical and biochemical properties of Zinc Oxide and derivatives impart special features to a variety of cosmetics and in preparations for cure of the hair and skin. In powders and cream, it protects the skin by absorbing the ultraviolet sunburn rays and in burn ointment, it aids healing.
In many types of electronic devices, like the soft type of ferromagnetic material for TV tubes, radio and telecommunication applications, Zinc Oxide is an essential ingredient for better conductivity.
Zinc Oxide is used as a flux in low-melting glasses and as a component of low-coefficient thermal expansion in thermal shock resistant glasses.
Prepaint Phosphate Coatings
Zinc Phosphate coatings applied to metal surfaces prior to painting has proven so effective in corrosion resistance and paint holding properties, that they are widely used in marine paints, automobiles and household goods like refrigerators, air conditioners, and etc.
The properties of plastic compositions can be improved by Zinc Oxide and its derivatives, such as acrylics, epoxies, nylons, polyester, PVC, styrene and urethanes.
Zinc Oxide is increased in photoconductivity and semiconductor by special heat or doping treatment. Zinc Oxide also is greatly modified in optical properties to increase its absorption of light rays in the visible regions for use in photocopiers.