WHAT IS ZINC PHOSPHATE?
Zinc phosphate, dihydrate is a white powder with a density of 3.998 (15 degrees Celsius) and a melting point of 900 degrees Celsius. The compound is soluble in acids and ammonium hydroxide; insoluble in water. Zinc phosphate, dihydrate can be used for dental cements; phosphors; and conversion coating of steel, aluminum, and other metal surfaces.
ZINC PHOSPHATE CEMENT – IN MANY FORMS
The most common uses of zinc phosphate is an ingredient in cements. It is one of the oldest and widely used types of cement around the world and can be found in applications ranging from dental to industrial.
When used as a dental cement, zinc phosphate is created by combining phosphoric acid liquid with zinc oxide powder to form the correct chemical compound and consistency for cement. It is known for its excellent setting thickness and setting time, and is often used to adhere inlays, bridges, crowns, and other permanent dental restorations.
These same characteristics have led to the use of zinc phosphate and related compounds in cements outside of the dental industry as well. Its corrosion resistance makes it an ideal solution on certain metals when looking to adhere and protect.
Zinc phosphate primer is also used to achieve anti-corrosion results on materials such as steel, iron, and other metals. Stronger than most primers, it is often seen in high-traffic or outdoor applications, such as in coastal areas and fire escapes.
Its use as a coating extends to phosphate coating applications with other elements, as well. Phosphate-based coatings can also include manganese and iron in addition to zinc. On its own, phosphate coating does not achieve the desired anti-corrosion properties, and as such must be used in conjunction with zinc or other elements. Often, zinc phosphate is used to prevent excessive wear and tear on the materials in addition to anti-corrosion uses.
On the other end of the usage spectrum, zinc phosphate is sometimes used to lubricate materials in hot and cold forging manufacturing. When combined with sodium stearate, the compounds form a layered coating of materials which strongly adheres to the surface and gives the material a lubricated coating.
USEFUL, BUT VERY DANGEROUS
If there is any doubt the potential danger of zinc phosphate to humans, the fact that it is sometimes used as a rodenticide to control against larger rodents and animals should be a good indication. Zinc phosphate poisoning can be fatal, especially if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
Zinc phosphate can interact with other substances to produce a toxic gas and is necessary to be disposed of as hazardous waste. When handling, practice the highest level of safety precaution, including wearing impervious gloves, safety glasses and protective clothing.
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