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Zinc: A Global Supplier’s Perspective

August 17, 2016 - 

Zinc: A Global Supplier’s Perspective

By Joe Husseini, International Sales and Trading director, U.S. Zinc

The marketplace is experiencing a recent uptick in demand for zinc. As a result, zinc inventories are falling and the prices are rising. Since the start of 2016, zinc has risen by almost 40 percent on the London Metal Exchange Index (LME). Specifically, there is a great demand for both zinc oxide and zinc dust in the marketplace. Helping meet this global demand with ample capacity, U.S. Zinc operates four zinc oxide manufacturing locations and the largest single-site zinc dust plant in the world. U.S. Zinc relies on its connections with major zinc metal suppliers for its raw material supply, which is comprised of recycled zinc from various galvanizers and special high grade zinc from the smelters.

U.S. Zinc is a major supplier of zinc oxide and zinc dust. Zinc oxide is found in rubber and tire, ceramics, lubricants, chemical and pharmaceutical products for a variety of enhancement purposes. Zinc dust is used in primer coatings for marine and industrial applications to inhibit corrosion. Zinc used in the galvanizing process acts to inhibit steel corrosion, which dramatically extends the life of the material in marine environments by protecting it from oxidation and water.

With the rebound in the steel markets, galvanizing services are in strong demand. The galvanizing process occurs in a couple of ways. The batch process in hot dip galvanizing, or HDG, is used to coat components with zinc in smaller applications for fabricators and smaller manufacturers. The continuous galvanizers, or steel mills, are typically larger individual plants than their HDG counterparts, coating steel sheet coils with zinc. Ships, bridges, rigs and other marine-grade equipment have galvanization and zinc to thank for this great protection.

See more at: http://www.coatingsworld.com/issues/2016-08-01/view_features/marine-coatings-594140/#sthash.v0GRkdUg.dpuf