Zinc is therefore particularly suitable for outdoor use

For construction, it is mainly used as a roof covering (it adapts to all roof slopes of 5% vertically) and for all gutter elements. It also protects the fragile parts of limestone buildings (window sills, wall coverings) and is used to seal the tile or slate roof connections (chimneys, dormers).

Zinc has the distinction of being malleable (it is ductile from 100 ° C) and can easily adapt to the shape of the elements it covers. Used in the form of sheets or thin plates, it can be easily worked and cut to make all kinds of objects. The only drawback of zinc is that it is cold breakable. The parry was found using galvanized steel. Steel, the star material of the industrial revolution of the 19th century, is very resistant but it is a compound of iron and carbon (0.1 to 20% carbon in the alloy, beyond it is cast iron ) so it is likely to rust.

One of the techniques used to prevent the oxidation of steel is to cover it with a protective layer of zinc: it is the galvanization (by electrolysis to deposit a thin layer of zinc on the steel or by hot dipping to obtain a thicker coating). Visually, there is almost no noticeable difference between raw zinc and galvanized steel (commonly called “galva”) but it is still the latter that is used for parts requiring good strength, for example all furniture items or large pots or planters. Galvanizing is intended to extend the life of steel by protecting it against corrosion.