Zinc is one of the basic metals that has many benefits in addition to other non-ferrous metals such as copper, lead, aluminum, and nickel. In general in Indonesian it is better known as zinc. Zinc itself is the fourth most common type of metal produced after steel, aluminum and copper. The melting point reaches 450 degrees Celsius.
As one of the base metals, zinc has many different applications and is very much needed in modern life today. Among others, it is used to fabricate steel components in the form of die casting alloys and as brass which is an alloy of zinc and copper.
Meanwhile, the majority of zinc is applied for corrosion protection or galvanizing in steel by forming a barrier surface on steel so that it is resistant to corrosion. Zinc is also applied in the form of oxide (zinc oxide) which has benefits in the formulation and vulcanization of rubber and tires, zinc oxide is also used as fertilizers and a small portion is used in the field of pharmacy and use in the pharmaceutical field and use in the medical field. World zinc consumption continues to grow, from around 5 million tons per year in 1970 to more than 8 million tons per year in the late 20th century, and to 9.7 million tons per year in 2003. This informs us that the growth rate of demand the world experienced a 2% increase per year.
According to fact research, the fact is that the galvanic process consumes around 3 million tons of zinc per year or shows about 30 million tons of steel per year which has been through hot dip galvanized processes and is used in all forms, or other data that says 40% of all zinc products in the world. This proves that corrosion protection through galvanizing is a method favored by practitioners who are engaged in corrosion because it has steel.
In Indonesia alone, zinc processing plants still don't exist. Besides because there is not always a lot of raw material available in the form of zinc core (the potential for minerals in Indonesia is large, among others, bauxite, copper and nickel), also processing technology that requires large investments, but Indonesia has a large potential for resources zinc. Because of that, there are mostly zinc imports from Korea, Australia and Japan.
The fluctuations in zinc prices certainly greatly affect the sustainability of the galvanizer business, which if not adjusted for galvanic prices is not impossible for the galvanizers to temporarily stop the galvanizing process, because they can no longer buy zinc at such high prices.
It is quite ironic indeed, when all stakeholders want the acceleration of infrastructure development, but on the one hand that the galvanized industry as a "final supporter" is again experiencing turmoil that has a very significant impact on the overall cost of production.
There are several Zinc Grade (according to ASTM B6 Standard Specification for Zinc) as below:
1. SHG (Special High Grade): 99.99% Zinc Content
2. HG (High Grade): 99.90% Zinc Content
3. PW (Prime Western): 98.0% Zinc Content
The grouping of zinc types has a long history, based on the level of impurities contained and processed with current technology.
Factories with electrolysis processes can produce SHG specifications and are the main commodity because of their quality. Refer to ASTMA123 Standard. That the composition of Zinc Content in a galvanized bath is a minimum of 98%, the rest is another alloy to improve performance such as Aluminum, Nickel and others.