3. Zinc- Utility Player of Metals. Why is Zinc so amazing?


Zinc on the Periodic Table

Zinc (Zn) is in the last column of the transition metals on the periodic table. It is technically a post-transition metal because of its physical properties. Further to the right are other post-transition metals of Aluminum, Lead, Tin, and Bismuth.  Even further to the right are the Metalloids- think boron and antimony.

Now, to the left are the true transition metals. In the column to the left, we find copper, silver, and gold. Further down the same row as zinc, we find, iron, cobalt, and nickel.

Zinc Attributes

Physically, post-transition metals are soft, lack strength, and possess a low melting point. This is actually a good thing! This is the reason why they can easily alloy with other metals. Zinc is unique among them all.

Zinc is soft and malleable, making it a versatile metal that bridges the gap between transition and post-transition metals. It can perform in various situations. Think 1986 Oakland A’s Tony Phillips-versatile.

Above all, it’s not toxic, and our bodies actually need zinc to create white blood cells. Zinc is conductive, antimicrobial, and can be magnetized.

It can be mixed with other metals to increase its strength and usefulness in various situations. Additionally, it retains its antimicrobial capability even through patination. The fact that it is so soft is a blessing and a challenge.

On one hand, it makes it quite easy to manipulate through sanding and surface finishing, which is great for making zinc countertops.

On the other hand, stainless steel is widely used in industries because it doesn’t scratch easily and is hygienic. However, fabricators find it more challenging to work with softer metals like zinc and brass.

Stainless steel has been popular for 40 years and will remain important, but there are some changes on the horizon.

3 Spark’s Advantage

As technology gets better, we will see more use of soft metals like zinc for decorative surfaces such as countertops, bar tops, and tables. These metals are more visually appealing than stainless steel and are becoming easier to use in the industry. They are also an attractive alternative to stone countertops, butcher block countertops, and solid surface. Developing new technology is a specialty of 3 Spark Design.

Recent years have shown a growing demand for unique and innovative materials for interiors and casual markets. This has led to a shift towards using softer metals like zinc and brass for decorative surfaces. These metals have a unique charm that can enhance the appearance of countertops, bar tops, and tables, unlike stainless steel.

One of the advantages 3 Spark finds in working with softer metals is the potential to customize their appearance with patina. Fabricators who can change their surface appearance increase design possibilities, enabling greater creativity and personalization. This flexibility allows designers and architects to create unique pieces for each project. We can also alter the surface finish of these pieces on site, unlike other countertop surfaces.

Furthermore, advancements in technology by 3 Spark Design have made it easier to work with living metals like zinc, brass, and copper. New techniques and tools have been developed to enhance the fabrication process, which makes it more efficient. This has significantly reduced the challenges that fabricators once faced when working with zinc and brass.

Another factor driving the popularity of softer metals is their acceptance by a larger market. With more designers turning to living metals, manufacturers are exploring ways to meet these needs. While some makers create imitation materials that cut corners, we at 3 Spark are expanding our productions to offer greater customization with more options.

These metals are not only visually appealing but also highly durable. They can withstand daily wear and tear, making them comparable with other countertop options.

Soft metals such as zinc, brass, and copper will play a crucial role in the future of the design industry. This is because there is a growing and sustained demand for distinctive and visually appealing materials. With their unique characteristics and increasing ease of use, living metals offer a fresh and exciting alternative to traditional stainless steel. Get ready for a new era of creativity and design as softer metals become the focus in decorative surfaces, brought to you by the studio at 3 Spark Design.


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