Zinc sheet is used extensively in the building industry for roofing, wall clading, gutters and downspouts, flashing and weathering applications. Architectural alloys generally contain copper and titanium and are produced in the form of sheet, strip, plate and rods and are used as such, or cut and formed to desired shapes, such as gutters, cornices and pipes. Zinc sheet is also used in graphic art to make plates and blocks, as well as battery cans and coinage.
Today, zinc sheet is typically produced by continuous casting/rolling. Zinc is melted in an induction furnace, and the molten metal is poured between the two endless bands of a Hazelett machine, where it solidifies. The continuous ‘ingot’ delivered at the other end can be more than 1 m wide and from 10 to 20 mm thick. The endless strip is fed continuously to a rolling mill, which reduces the thickness to the desired level in successive passes, after which it is cut to size and coiled.