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Zinc Oxide

Pure Source Of Zinc

Formula: ZnO
Alternate Names: ZnO, Zincite

OxideAnalysisFormula
ZnO100.00%1.000
Oxide Weight81.40
Formula Weight81.40
Enter the formula and formula weight directly into the Insight MDT dialog (since it records materials as formulas).
Enter the analysis into an Insight recipe and enter the LOI using Override Calculated LOI (in the Calc menu). It will calculate the formula.
DENS - Density (Specific Gravity) 5.6

Zinc oxide is a fluffy white to yellow white powder having a very fine physical particle size (99.9% should pass a 325 mesh screen). It is made using one of two processes that produce different densities. The French process vaporizes and oxidizes zinc metal, the American process smelts a coal/zinc sulfide mix and oxidizes the zinc fumes.

Ceramic grades are calcined, they have a larger particle size and much lower surface area (e.g. 3 square meters per gram vs. less than 1; however 99.9% still passes 325 mesh). Calcined grades are said to produce less glaze surface defect problems (although many ceramists have used the raw grades for many years without serious issues). You can calcine zinc on your own in a bisque kiln, fire it at around 815C. Calcined zinc tends to rehydrate from atmospheric water (and get lumpy in the process, calcining a mix of zinc and kaolin produces a more workable powder). Alot of zinc is used in crystalline glazes (typically 25%), because these have no clay content, they bring out the best and worst of both the calcined and raw materials. The raw zinc suspends glazes much better (the calcined settles out much more). The raw zinc takes more water, but since the glaze can thin out over time it is better to add less than needed at mixing time and mix thoroughly. The raw zinc screens better (although it can be a challenge to get either slurry through an 80 mesh screen).

Zinc oxide is soluble in strong alkalies and acids.

It can be an active flux in smaller amounts. It generally promotes crystalline effects and matteness/softness in greater amounts. If too much is used the glaze surface can become dry and the heavily crystalline surface can present problems with cutlery marking. Other surface defects like pitting, pinholing, blistering and crawling can also occur (because its fine particle size contributes to glaze shrinkage during drying and it pulls the glaze together during fusion).

Zinc oxide is thermally stable on its own to high temperatures, however in glazes it readily dissolves and acts as a flux. Zinc oxide sublimes at 1800C but it reduces to Zn metal in reduction firing and then boils at around 900C (either causing glaze defects or volatilizing into the atmosphere; note that electric kilns with poor ventilation can have local reduction).

While it might seem that zinc would not be useful in reduction glazes, when zincless and zinc containing glazes are compared it is often clear that there is an effect (e.g. earlier melting). Thus some zinc has either remained or it has acted as a catalyst.

The use of zinc in standard glazes is limited by its price, its hostility to the development of certain colors and its tendency to make glazes more leachable in acids (although zinc itself is not considered a hazardous substance).

Zinc oxide is used in glass, frits, enamels and ferrites. Zinc oxide is also used in large quantities in the rubber and paint industries; in insulated wire, lubricants, and advanced ceramics.


Mechanisms

Out Bound Links

In Bound Links


Pictures

Zinc oxide calcined (left) and raw (right) in G2902B crystalline glaze (contains 25% zinc) on cone 6 L3659 high expansion (low crazing) body. This has been normal cooled to prevent crystal development. Melt is identical, no crazing.

Example of a crystalline glaze


By Tony Hansen

XML for Import into INSIGHT

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <material name="Zinc Oxide" descrip="Pure Source Of Zinc" searchkey="ZnO, Zincite" loi="0.00" casnumber="8051-03-4"> <oxides> <oxide symbol="ZnO" name="Zinc Oxide" status="" percent="100.000" tolerance=""/> </oxides> </material>


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