Metallic zinc is used in the production of alloys and in galvanizing to protect steel structures. It is still present as a chemical additive in rubber and paints. In the galvanizing process the coating is applied by hot-dip method or by electrodeposition. The latter gives a relatively thin coating that is usually used as a base for paint. Galvanizing is used to protect building structures or boat and machine elements.
Brass is one of the most important zinc alloys, and consists of a mixture of this element with copper. It is generally stronger and more ductile than copper. It has superior corrosion resistance and is widely used in water valves, hardware, instruments and communication equipment.
Rolled zinc forms part of the container of the common dry cell used to supply electrical current for small portable radios and flashlights.
The more important zinc compounds are the oxide (ZnO), used in ceramics, rubber industries and in ink production. Zinc sulfate (ZnSO4) is used in textile industry and the treatment of zinc deficiency in soils. Zinc chloride is used to preserve wood and as deodorant in several fluids. This compound is also used in dry cells and in paint production.