Green Living

Why is zinc used for building?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. Structural zinc is not pure but rather a mixture of zinc with copper and titanium. This amalgam gives zinc extra malleability and tensile strength so it can bear more weight. Zinc is also self-healing: If its surface is scratched, it forms a protective layer keeping chemicals out. Many of the zinc roofs in France, Belgium and Germany made in the 19th century are still serviceable. Zinc is also recyclable; almost 100 percent can be reused and made into new materials. Zinc"s main drawback is cost; on the other hand, while an asphalt roof may last 35 years at most, a zinc roof could still be going strong after two centuries.

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