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Zinc, Oxide

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Zinc Oxide

In smalls amounts zinc helps in the development of glossy and brilliant surfaces the way lead did. ZnO has a high refractive index.
ZnO is a low expansion secondary flux which is handy to prevent crazing if used for, or instead of, high expansion fluxes. It improves elasticity so that glazes which might otherwise craze or shiver will fit.
In moderate to high amounts it acts to produce mattes and crystalline surfaces, especially if supersaturated (up to 0.8 molar) and cooled slowly (produces crystal phases like Zn2SiO4, that is, willemite). However, these crystalline surfaces can be rough enough to cause cutlery marking.
Zinc has a complicated color response. It can have harmful and helpful effects on blues, browns, greens, pinks and is not recommended with copper, iron, or chrome.
Zinc can improve durability in some glazes. In others it can reduce resistance to acid attack.
Safety Data Sheet

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