The rubber industry, in its development over the past one hundred years, has utilized
an increasing number of the many optical, physical and chemical properties of Zinc
Oxide. Zinc Oxide proved the most effective activator to speed up the rate of cure
with the new accelerators.
Heavy-duty pneumatic tires carry high loadings of Zinc Oxide for heat conductivity as well as reinforcement since heat-buildup is critical at their higher operating speeds compared with their solid-rubber counterparts.
In the curing process for natural rubber and most types of synthetic rubbers, the chemical reactivity of Zinc Oxide is utilized to activate the organic accelerator.
Zinc Oxide serves as the accelerator with some types of elastomer and the crosslinking.
Zinc Oxide is useful in the preservation of plantation latex as it reacts with the enzyme responsible for the decomposition. The oxide is also a fungistat, inhibiting the growth of such fungi as mold and mildew
In high-voltage wire and cable insulation, Zinc Oxide improves the resistance to
corona effects by its dielectric strength. Latex Gelation
In the production of latex foam rubber products, Zinc Oxide is particularly effective in gelation of the foam with sufficient stability.
Zinc Oxide is outstanding among white pigments and extenders for its absorption of ultraviolet rays. Thus, it serves as an effective stabilizer of white and tinted rubber compounds under prolonged exposure to the destructive rays of the sun.
Through its high brightness, refractive index, and optimum particle size, Zinc Oxide provides a high degree of whiteness and tinting strength for such rubber products as tire sidewalls, sheeting and surgical gloves.
Zinc Oxide provides reinforcement in natural rubber, and in some synthetic elastomers
such as polysulfides and chloroprenes. The degree of reinforcement appears to depend
upon a combination of the particle size of the oxide, the finest size being the
most effective, and the reactivity of the oxide with the rubber.
Under such service condition involving rapid flexing or compression, Zinc Oxide also provides heat conduction to more rapidly dissipate the heat and thereby provides lower operating temperatures. In addition, it imparts heat stabilization by reacting with acidic decomposition products.
Zinc compounds can provide a variety of properties in the plastics field. Heat resistance and mechanical strength are imparted to acrylic composites by Zinc Oxide. imparts fire-resistant properties to nylon fibers and moldings.
The properties imparted by Zinc Oxide to some of the newer applications are as electronic
glass, low-melting glass for metal-to-glass seals, thermistors for use as lighting
arresters and devitrified glasses of low thermal expansion.
Zinc Oxide imparts a unique combination of properties when used in glass. Zinc Oxide reduces the coefficient of thermal expansion, imparts high brilliance and luster and high stability against deformation under stress. As a replacement flux for the more soluble constituents, it provides a viscosity curve of lower slope.
Zinc Oxide is mainly used in Zinc soap, ointment, dental inlays, food powders etc. Zinc Oxide forms an indispensable element of the production process of this industry.
The optical and biochemical properties of Zinc Oxide and its derivatives impart special features to a variety of cosmetic preparations for care of the hair and skin. In powders and creams it protects the skin by absorbing the ultraviolet sunburn rays; in burn ointments it aids healing.
Zinc Oxide has long been a major constituent of surgical and industrial tapes based on natural or synthetic rubber as it is outstanding in retention of tack during shelf–aging.
Some of the unique electronic properties of Zinc Oxide are distinctively utilized in the photocopying process. For use in that process, Zinc Oxide is increased in photoconductivity and semiconductor properties by special heat and/or doping treatments (addition of foreign elements).
Zinc Oxide and its derivatives have been intently studied. Zinc Dithiophosphates
which are prepared by reacting Zinc Oxide with organic Phosphates, are used in substantial
quantities as additives to lubricating oils for automotive engines.
Zinc Oxide imparts special properties to greases and other variety of lubricants. Such greases are useful in the lubrication of food–processing equipment.
Zinc Oxide in organic coatings provides a broad spectrum of properties: optical, chemical, biochemical and physical.
Zinc metal powder (zinc dust) and zinc compounds have long been utilized for their anticorrosive properties in metal-protective coatings, and today they are the basis of such important specially metal primers as Zinc Chromate primers.
Zinc Oxide and its derivatives were used extensively in fire retardants. Solutions for fireproofing textiles contain ZnO, Boric Acid, and Ammonia in various proportions. It deposits water-insoluble Zn Borate on the fibers.
Zinc Oxide is used in Zinc-Carbon dry cells, Zinc-Silver Oxide batteries, Nickel Oxide-Cadmium batteries and even in secondary batteries. In Fuel cells, Zinc Oxide is used as electrode material, cathodic material and as a fuel element.
Zinc Oxide and its derivatives contribute effectively to the control of fungi in many different types of applications.