Zinc (Zn) - Properties, Applications

Topics Covered

Chemical Properties
Physical Properties
Mechanical Properties
Thermal Properties


Zinc is a bluish-white metal with a lustrous appearance. It is brittle by nature, but exhibits good malleability and ductility at higher temperatures. The atomic number of zinc is 30 and is represented by the symbol Zn. It belongs to the d-block, period 4 and group 12 of the periodic table.

Zinc occupies an important place in biological well being. Deficiency of zinc in the human body leads to a number of health impairments. It is abundantly available on Earth’s crust and is usually found in the mineral galena, which is distributed in Russia, Canada, Australia and the USA. 

Chemical Properties

The chemical properties of zinc are provided in the table below:

Chemical Data
CAS number 7440-66-6
Thermal neutron cross section 1.06 barns/atom
Electrode potential -0.760 V
Ionic radius 0.740 Å
Electro negativity 1.65
X-ray absorption edge 1.283 Å
Electrochemical equivalent 1.219 g/A/h

Physical Properties

The following table discusses the physical properties of zinc.

Properties Metric Imperial
Density 7.10 g/cm3 0.257 lb/in3
Melting point 419.58 °C 787.24 °F
Boiling point 907 °C 1664 °F

Mechanical Properties

The mechanical properties of zinc are tabulated below.

Properties Metric Imperial
Tensile strength 37 MPa 5370 psi
Modulus of elasticity 96.5 GPa 14000 ksi
Hardness, Vickers 30 30

Thermal Properties

The thermal properties of zinc are tabulated below.

Properties Metric Imperial
Thermal expansion co-efficient (@20-100°C/68-212°F) 31.2 µm/m°C 17.3 µin/in°F
Thermal conductivity 112.2 W/mK 778.7 BTU in/hr.ft².°F


The following are the application areas of zinc:

  • Galvanization of iron
  • Architectural
  • Automotive
  • Cathode in batteries
  • Toys
  • Pigments, activator and catalyst
  • Pharmaceuticals

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