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Everything You Need to Know About Zinc Sheet Metal

The use of zinc sheet metal can be found throughout a wide range of industries because its unique properties make it an ideal choice for many different projects. Additionally, zinc metal sheets are relatively easy to work with and can be cut, drilled, or otherwise shaped to meet your needs. With that in mind, the following are a few things you should know about zinc sheet metal.

What is Zinc Sheet Metal Used For?

Zinc sheet metal was originally designed for industrial applications, including roof flashing, cathode protection, chemical resistance, water resistance, engraving, and more due to its durability and resistance to corrosion (it corrodes at about 1/30 the rate that steel corrodes at).

Today, zinc sheet metal is commonly used in the construction industry for roofing and cladding as well as gutters and downspouts. Zinc sheet metal is also used fairly often in the commercial industry for everything from countertops to appliances because of how nonporous the metal is.

Zinc is commonly used in the automotive industry as well, as it can be used to create parts that are resistant to rust and corrosion. Additionally, because it can be easily cut into a variety of shapes and sizes, zinc metal sheets are used for decorative elements, such as decorative moldings.

How is Zinc Sheet Metal Made?

Zinc sheet metal is made by passing a zinc ingot through a series of rollers until it reaches the desired thickness. A zinc ingot is a block of zinc that has been heated to a high temperature and then cooled. Once the ingot has cooled, it can be passed through the rollers to create zinc sheet metal.

Zinc sheet metal can be cut with a variety of different tools. A sharp knife or pair of scissors can be used to score the metal and then snap it along the scored line. A power saw can also be used, but it is important to use a blade designed for cutting metal to avoid damaging the tool. Additionally, a plasma cutter or water jet can be used to cut zinc sheet metal into intricate shapes, which is why it can also be used for decorative metal elements.

What are the Specifications of Zinc Sheet Metal?

Zinc sheet metal is available in a variety of thicknesses and sizes. Because of how durable and flexible zinc sheet metal is, it can be rolled into thin sheets without losing any of its strength. As such, it can be produced in thinner sheets (lower gauges) than a lot of other types of metals.

The thickness of zinc sheet metal ranges from 0.0020 inches (1 gauge) to 1 inch (28 gauge), and the width ranges from 36 inches to 72 inches. The length is generally 120 inches, but it can also be cut to size if necessary.

What Kind of Finishes Can You Use On Zinc Sheet Metal?

When it comes to finishing zinc sheet metal, there aren't a lot of options. It's very non-porous, which means paint won't adhere to its surface. However, you can buff and polish zinc sheet metal to create a refined shine. Zinc metal sheets will also develop a patina (which can create a light gray to green appearance) over time as a result of exposure to moisture and other elements. Some manufacturers sell pre-weathered zinc metal sheets that already have already developed this patina.

Our Zinc Sheet Metal Restoration Services

Our process begins with an evaluation of the metal to determine the extent of the damage. Once we have a good understanding of what needs to be done, we'll develop a plan to restore your zinc sheet metal to its original condition. In case of severe damage, we can even replace missing or damaged pieces of zinc sheet metal. For more information about our zinc metal restoration capabilities, contact us at Heather & Little today.

Preservation Consulting

And if you are looking for a second opinion on your project or have a particularly complex issue that needs a fresh eye, we’re here for that too. Tackling tricky challenges is our specialty and we welcome the opportunity to provide consulting advice, with the same exacting attention to detail we bring to all our commissions.
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