Does Zinc Die Cast Rust?

When choosing the right die casting alloy for your next die cast part design, there are many things to consider, including whether or not the metal will rust. A zinc casting is a popular choice due to its strength and resistance to corrosion. Let’s take a look at the properties of a zinc die casting and discuss what happens when this special material is exposed to the environment. 

Zinc alloys undergo oxidation when exposed to air, creating a protective layer on the surface. 

Does zinc rust? The short answer is that a zinc die casting will not rust when exposed to air, however, it may corrode with a protective barrier of 

It is important to understand that even though zinc alloys can corrode they will not rust. Rust is a type of corrosion characteristic to iron-based metals, such as steal, but not zinc alloys. So even though a zinc alloy will corrode it will not rust. In fact, the corrosion of zinc can make the material more desirable choice. 

The durability of zinc-based alloys is due to their ability to undergo oxidation when exposed to air, forming a protective layer on the surface. This layer, known as a patina, offers protection from corrosion. When the patina is broken through abrasion, it will naturally reform. This “self-healing” is an important feature of zinc alloys when exposed to the environment. 

Zinc alloys can corrode excessively from harsh chemicals or saltwater environments therefore, it is important to protect a zinc casting from these elements. This type of corrosion would create a zinc oxide which would tarnish the part or create a “white rust”. An additional coating can be applied to the zinc alloy, such as a paint, powder coat, or plating (decorative or zinc plated) to increase the long-term appearance of the zinc surface finish. 


Zinc die casting: A good choice for part design. 

In conclusion, zinc corrodes when exposed to moisture and other environmental elements. However, the corrosion that develops does not rust in a brown and orange color or significantly weaken the part. In this way a zinc die casting is affordable and durable and can be used in a variety of industries. With these design considerations, a zinc die casting process can provide a long-lasting and reliable product. 

Your Next New Product

Deco Products is the perfect partner for your next new product or tool transfer. With over 20 engineers with 400 cumulative years of experience making Deco one of the USA's most capable and innovative zinc die casters. Our knowledgeable staff is here to guide you through your next new product.
Dave Magner

Dave Magner

Dave Magner is the Director of Sales and Marketing and has been with Deco Products since 2015. He has a +20 years of engineering experience in mechanical and electrical testing and design and zinc die casting, plastic injection molding, stamping, assembly, and automation processes.

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