ZA alloys— a challenge to the metals industry

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 80, No. 900, 1987

E. GERVAIS, Product Engineering Division, Centre de recherche Noranda, Pointe-Claire, Quebec

In today's marketplace, heavy competition between materials is the norm. This is particularly true for the base metals, which are being increasingly challenged by new or improved materials in all traditional applications. Current usage of base metals results from a combination of a metal's intrinsic properties, and technology. The future of the base metal industry rests with innovative, high-quality product development, its ability to take advantage of the results of worldwide, massive material R&D investments, and with the dynamism and effectiveness of its market development programs. The ZA casting alloys program is an illustration of the zinc industry's efforts to protect and expand its market position in the casting field through state-of-the-art technological developments. The market potential for these advanced engineering alloys is substantial, and their impact on traditional zinc die casting alloy consumption is particuarly important. The ZA alloys, in offering increased performance through zinc castings produced at low cost and by a wide range of moulding processes, have unlocked a multitude of new end-use applications. Following a review of the development ofZA alloys, of their key properties and of their performance characteristics, the numerous challenges that the alloys present to the zinc industry and to the R&D community are discussed.
Keywords: Metallurgy, Zinc alloys, Zinc, Metals industry, Markets, Research and development.