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Material of the Month: June 2017 – Zinc

Why it inspires us…

“Zinc is critical for all life on Earth, and used in more than 300 enzymes”

Zinc is an abundant metal found in the Earths crust with a myriad of industrial and biological uses. Man made zinc alloy products have been reliably dated as far back as 500BC, additionally zinc was first intentionally added to copper to form brass around 200-300BC.

Brass supplemented bronze during the Roman Empire in the manufacture of coins, weapons and art, and remained the main use of zinc until 1746 when Andreas Sigismund Marggraf knowingly isolated the pure element. Marggraf carefully described the process and as a result of that, zinc soon became commercially available. Today’s uses include construction, it is rolled into sheets to be used in roofing and cladding.

Zinc is available in a range of finishes, for use in roofing, cladding and interiors. A number of different roofing and cladding systems are available. The price depends on a number of factors ranging from supply and colour, to complexity of the project. It lasts for 50 to 100 years depending on type of atmosphere. BRE based EPD calculations resulted in 80 years self-healing and cleaned with rainwater.


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