Characteristics of Zinc

Why choose VMZINC

The history of VMZINC is that of a tradition that goes back more than 180 years. A history that spans the centuries and reflects the image of a noble, durable and robust metal with exceptional durability and great malleability. 

Zinc, a top performing alloy

Composition of alloy

VMZINC rolled zinc is alloyed with copper and titanium to produce a material with optimum mechanical and physical characteristics for building applications, particularly with regard to mechanical resistance and creep resistance.

It is composed of very high quality zinc Z1 (99,995% pure zinc), as defined by the EN 1179 standard, to which titanium and copper are added in order to obtain rolled zinc according to the European standard EN 988. Copper increases the mechanical resistance of the alloy, making it harder and stronger.   This standard imposes very stringent specifications for the composition of rolled zinc and its physical, mechanical and dimensional characteristics, which make it an international reference. Titanium increases creep resistance permitting greater thermal expansion and contraction, of the material without causing metal fatigue.

EN988 norm

The European Standard EN 988 has been applied since 1997 in 18 European countries. This standard imposes very stringent specifications for the composition of rolled zinc and its physical, mechanical and dimensional characteristics, which make it an international reference.

Physical properties of titanium zinc by VMZINC
7.2 kg/dm³
Thermal expansion coefficient (parallel to the rolling direction)0.022 mm/m/°C
Melting point420°C
Recrystallization point300°C
Heat conductivity110 W/(m.K)
Electrical conductivity17 MS/m
Danger of sparkingNon-sparking
Magnetic propertiesDiamagnetic

Whilst the VMZINC brand complies with all the specifications of the EN 988 standard, we have gone beyond the requirements of this standard to create the PREMIUMZINC quality system. It offers an even higher level of quality than EN 988 certification.


Architects have unlimited creativity which can be perfectly expressed with VMZINC. The material can therefore adopt any shape and adapted to all types of buildings. It can be bent to fit curves with low radiuses and form complex shapes which are difficult to realize with other materials. 

VMZINC provides the freedom to craft architectural masterpieces which are difficult to create with other construction materials. It is very malleable and can therefore meet virtually every architectural demand and provide solutions that less flexible materials cannot. Architects appreciate this versatility which allows them great freedom of expression when designing a building. 



Zinc resolves a large number of design issues helping to create an almost infinite variety of shapes: straight, curved, convex or concave with more or less pronounced assemblies with no visible fasteners. It allows a varied range of construction layouts and the management of complex details that are impossible to realize with other materials. It adapts to local professional particularities, to regulation or comfort requirements specific to each building.

Zinc and patina for a long life span

The light grey patina takes between six months and two years to form, depending on the climate, the exposure of the site and the composition of the atmosphere. It protects itself against outdoor corrosion by developing a patina that gives it an exceptional long life span.  With an average corrosion rate of 1µm/year, even very thin (0.7 mm) rolled zinc can achieve 70 to 100 years life depending on the environment (60 years in an aggressive environment up to more than 100 years in a milder environment).  Zinc continues to develop protective layer throughout its life and will self-repair imperfections and scratches.
The patina is made up of two parts, first a very compact layer consisting of very dense basic zinc carbonate crystals is formed and adheres to the zinc. This first layer protects the zinc completely and slows down its interaction with the oxygen in the air. A second, less uniform layer, made up of zinc oxide or hydroxide, which is less adhesive and more porous, is also formed. Although it plays a less important role, it is still useful as it neutralises the effect of rain and other external factors on the zinc.

Low maintenance

In addition to its long lifespan, zinc is a low maintenance material. It does not have a coating or varnish that wears out over time needing to be reapplied. In fact, zinc continues to develop a protective layer (patina) throughout its life and will self-repair imperfections or scratches. This noble material improves over the years thanks to its natural oxidation, giving it excellent durability and limited maintenance.

Acoustics properties

Acoustics properties

The traditional VMZINC systems provide highly efficient soundproofing against airborne noise (road traffic, airplanes, etc.). Their acoustic performance is further enhanced by the increased thickness of thermal insulation due to stricter regulations for the thermal insulation of building envelopes. Zinc also has a better acoustic performance with impact noises such as rain than the more rigid alloys (aluminium, stainless steel, etc.).

Zinc, natural and recyclable

Zinc is a non-toxic, durable, recyclable and plentiful material. As an essential trace element, zinc is also vital to biological equilibrium and growth. Zinc used in the building industry is 100% recyclable and can be recycled indefinitely, putting it far ahead of many other materials which are just taking their first steps in recycling. 

In Europe, more than 95 % of old rolled zinc is recycled. 100% of rolled or shaped zinc products at the end of their life cycle are recyclable and 95% are actually recyclable.

The success of rolled zinc recycling is due to a very well organized recycling market. The main users for old rolled zinc products are secondary zinc refiners, brass and oxide producers. 

Zinc is an environmentally friendly metal with a favorable overall energy balance. Less energy is required to produce zinc than the other principal metals in the building industry. The energy balance is even more favorable in recycled zinc.