Zinc?

Finishes, paints and coatings

Zinc?

Postby Eulalia » Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:18 pm

So I was at a friend's house and we got to talking about their countertops, which are wrapped in zinc. It can be soldered, given an incredible variety of patinas, and is reasonably priced. Apparently it can be polished to a similar look as aluminium, but to maintain the look it would probably require a clear coat.

I know it is used as roofing and other exterior applications, so why not on a teardrop? Has anyone tried it / seen any similar uses? I think even weathered zinc would make a pretty unique look. I'm kind of intrigued with the idea and wouldn't be opposed to giving it a shot.

Any thoughts or concerns regarding the idea? I'm still trying to decide on an exterior option, but should probably decide within the next few weeks in case that changes how I have to do the parts leading up to skinning my trailer.
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Re: Zinc?

Postby MtnDon » Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:24 pm

Weight? 2.6 times heavier than aluminum, a touch heavier than grey cast iron.
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Re: Zinc?

Postby Eulalia » Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:30 pm

:thinking: well, that's one important aspect that I didn't consider... even at that much heavier, I wonder how much actual weight gain it translates into. More research is needed.
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Re: Zinc?

Postby tony.latham » Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:17 pm

Eulalia wrote::thinking: well, that's one important aspect that I didn't consider... even at that much heavier, I wonder how much actual weight gain it translates into. More research is needed.


I'll bet my 5x10 sheathed in .040 aluminum adds 80 pounds.

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Re: Zinc?

Postby Tom Kurth » Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:36 pm

I used to work in on a hot-dip galvanizing crew. So, knowing what I know, I assume your friend's countertops are zinc plated (galvanized) steel. Zinc itself is quite soft and, to my knowledge, would not be at all suitable as a countertop material by itself. Not saying it ain't so, just saying it doesn't square with my knowledge. The reason zinc plating is used to prevent rust is because it oxidizes much more easily than the steel it protects. When it gets scratched, it oxidizes and fills in the scratch, thus re-sealing moisture from the underlying steel. I don't know if it can be clear-coated. Polishing without some kind of coating would result in the grey sort of oxidation you see on galvanized steel out in the weather such as corrugated roofing. Pure zinc, by the way, weighs about the same as lead--quite heavy. Having said all that, be aware that it was 25 + years ago that I worked with it.

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Re: Zinc?

Postby Eulalia » Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:40 am

They are most definitely wrapped in zinc sheet, as they ordered and installed it themselves. Maybe I'll look into using it for just the countertop in my tear. The extra weight is very considerable if Tony's estimate is accurate, especially when I'm planning to tow with a 4cyl Ford Ranger. Thanks for the input. Maybe someone with less concern about weight can try it out :lol:
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