Zinc powder is used in paints and coatings to impart corrosion inhibiting properties. It is also used in zinc metal batteries as an anode.
Zinc is a bluish-gray powder with no smell and does not dissolve in water at ambient temperatures. It is a hazardous and flammable material, so be careful while handling it.
It should be kept away from strong bases, strong acids, sulfur, and also water. It is also heat sensitive and unstable in humid and warm air.
Use and Storage:
The most common application of zinc is in making paints, brass and also medicine. The main advantage of zinc is that it does not rust as quickly as iron.
This is due to the fact that the oxide of zinc does not easily oxidize, unlike iron. Hence, it is very useful in making cheap paints and colours to prevent steel surfaces from rusting and corroding.
In a reaction involving hydrochloric acid, zinc metal displaces hydrogen to produce hydrogen gas and zinc chloride as a salt. The zinc granules are preferred over pure zinc because the impurity copper, present in the granules, has a catalysing effect and speeds up the reaction rate.
When working with finely divided powders, handle under argon in a controlled, enclosed environment and maintain exposures below occupational limits using engineering controls. Wear a face mask and protective clothing as necessary.
Symptoms of exposure include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Chronic exposure may cause copper deficiency, altered iron function and reduced immune function.