Zinc is used to galvanize other metals, such as iron and steel, to prevent rusting, and several metal alloys, such as brass (zinc alloyed with copper), use zinc. Zinc is also used to make zinc oxide. Another use of zinc is to make pennies in the United States.
Zinc has strong anti-corrosive properties, which make it resistant to the formation of rust. When combined with iron and steel, it is used to make things that have to withstand the elements, such as car bodies, street lamps and suspension bridges. Zinc is also used in large amounts to make molds for die-casting. These molds are used to make parts for the automobile industry and the electrical industry.
Zinc combines well with other metals, creating metal alloys. Brass, nickel silver and aluminum solder all contain zinc. These alloys are also used in many different industries because they are easily handled and shaped.
Zinc oxide is used in many other products including paints, rubber, cosmetics and batteries. Zinc oxide is the main ingredient in many dressings, sunscreens and skin ointments as well.
United States pennies were originally made from mostly copper but are now made mainly from zinc with just a copper plating.