Zinc Oxide Formula - Properties & Manufacturing
10 December 2019
Zinc Oxide Formula - Zinc oxide is an inorganic compound with a large number of uses. Zinc oxide has a chemical formula that is known by ZnO. Its molar mass is 81.379 g mol-1. The molecule is formed by the cation Zn+2 and the anion O-2.
Zinc oxide has two main structures: hexagonal and cubic, but hexagonal crystals are commonly found. The chemical structure can be seen below, in the common representations used for organic molecules.
It is a gray to white, odorless powder or granular solid, insoluble in water and soluble in dilute acids and bases. Zinc oxide can be found in the Earth's crust as the mineral zincite. That being said, most of the commercial product is made by the high-temperature oxidation of metallic zinc or zinc ores.
Zinc oxide is categorized as a multifunctional material. It has unique physical and chemical properties, including:
- High chemical stability
- High electrochemical coupling coefficient
- Broad range of radiation absorption
- High photostability
Zinc oxide is commonly found in medical ointments where it used to treat skin irritations. In more recent times, zinc oxide has transcended to use in various fields:
- Concrete use
- Glass Compositions
- Cigarette Filters
For more than 50% of the zinc oxide is used in the rubber industry. ZnO along with stearic acid is used in the vulcanization of rubber to produce tires, shoe soles, and even hockey pucks. Another main use of zinc oxide is in concrete manufacture. The addition of zinc oxide helps the production process and improves its water resistance.
High quality zinc oxide is certainly going to be expanding in many industries. The potential advances for non-medicinal applications even surpass that of the current medicinal uses. Many promising fields are emerging and the use of zinc oxide is surely growing.
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