Applying cement

What is zinc oxide

Zinc oxide (ZnO) is a white powder that manufacturers now use for a variety of medicinal and industrial purposes. Although it is available in its natural state, the processing of zinc oxide typically must occur for manufacturing applications. An indirect process for producing zinc oxide consists of melting metallic zinc to produce a vapor that reacts with atmospheric oxygen to form ZnO. The direct method entails heating zinc ore with carbon to create a zinc vapor followed by oxidization. Employing a wet chemical processing technique is another option.

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Inside a manufacturing plant using zinc oxide

Zinc Oxide Properties and Characteristics

Zinc oxide has a good heat capacity and thermal conductivity, as well as high temperature stability. It is possible to synthesize ZnO into various forms and structures such as nanowires, tetrapods, nanobelts, and nanorods. The material is non-toxic, although it is hazardous to inhale zinc oxide fumes produced during oxidization at high temperatures. The FDA classifies the compound as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for use as a food additive.

Zinc Oxide Uses and Applications

  • Ceramics: zinc oxide enhances the elasticity of glazes by helping prevent issues such as
    shivering and crazing
  • Concrete: adding zinc oxide assists in the processing of concrete and increases its
    water resistance
  • Food additive: zinc oxide can serve as a source of dietary zinc that helps to promote
    immune system health; breakfast cereals and other prepackaged foods often contain
    small amounts of ZnO
  • Manufacturing: in an industrial setting, ZnO can help prevent corrosion in finished
    products made of metal
  • Rubber: ZnO combines with stearic acid for the vulcanization of rubber

Choose Brenntag as your Zinc Oxide Distributor

When you select Brenntag, you'll work with an experienced specialty and chemical distributor that understands the needs of every customer. Our network of 190 Regional Operating Companies can provide fast service across North America and beyond. You will have access to a host of support services to maximize your user experience. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of using zinc oxide in your products.

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