stained zinc

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stargazer

Senior Member
Slovenia, Slovenian
Hello, everyone!

Does anyone have any idea what "stained zinc" is?
"It is, to look at, not much of a bar, being the approximate size and shape of a small one-car garage, but the passing tourist would note that there is room outside for two little tables and an assortment of nonidentical plastic chairs that catch the sun in the morning, while the passing coffee lover would note that there is room inside on the stained zinc counter for a vast, gleaming Gaggia 6000, the Harley-Davidson of espresso machines."

I've looked up "stained" in dictionaries, and googled "stained zinc", but I still can't figure it out: does "stained" mean "dyed" (do you dye zinc??), or "discoloured" from wear and tear?
Any ideas? I'd be very grateful! THANKS! :)
 
  • whatonearth

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    'Zinc' is a type of metal. And, as it describes a counter in a coffee shop, I imagine the 'stains' (areas of discolouration) are rings left from coffee cups etc, that sort of thing. Hope that helps!
     

    GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    If it helps, "stained zinc" describes the counter. I'm still not certain what it is, other than a counter made up of zinc, that happens to be stained.

    Hmmm....might have to go research!

    EDIT: AHA! In the US, I believe this is what we call "stainless steel" (?)

    If so, what you are looking for it THIS, although what I'd imagine you are really looking for is the type found in an old cafe or diner.

    Question: Can a metal counter top stain? I thought one of its appealing qualities was its durability - and the fact that it cannot stain easily.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I agree - you are looking for too much meaning.
    The counter top is zinc - that aparently-modern trendy industrial look that is so very nonsensical because it shows every little stain.
    And this example has plenty of stains.
    No mystery, I guess.
     

    stargazer

    Senior Member
    Slovenia, Slovenian
    Hello, whatonearth, GenJen54, and panjandrum!!

    Thanks to all of you! You've been very helpful.

    I agree too - I am looking for too much meaning. But that's just how I am, I suppose. Perfectionism is a :warn::thumbsdown::warning:
    Well, what can I do ... :rolleyes:
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    As far as I know, stained zinc is zinc sheeting that has a special finish apllied to it to make it look as though it is has been stained. It is used for counter tops in bars and restaurants etc..
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    GenJen54 said:
    Question: Can a metal counter top stain?
    Yes:(

    They may actually be made of zinc too, although I suspect that stopped long ago and the actual counter top in this example was stainless steel.


    Stainless steel can be stained. You should see my SS Cafetiere (please accents to taste).
     

    stargazer

    Senior Member
    Slovenia, Slovenian
    Thanks, Charles Costante!

    DaleC,
    I know this question might sound silly to you, but "stained" does have more than one meaning, and I do not know much about zinc or any type of metal or what you do to them, so what can I say? I'd love to learn something new.
     

    nycphotography

    Senior Member
    American English
    GenJen54 said:
    Question: Can a metal counter top stain? I thought one of its appealing qualities was its durability - and the fact that it cannot stain easily.
    There is a Thai restaurant in Brooklyn (Greenpoint so I bet anyone who wants could find it). It's an artsy little place, and they have raw COPPER table tops, which, stain dark from base substances, such as food oils, and stain (polish) bright from acids such as vinegars and lemon juice.

    The net effect is a very interesting, attractive, always evolving series of patterns of dark and light stains on the tables.
     

    DAH

    Senior Member
    USA/California--English
    In nycphotography's example stained becomes a patina. Cooper and tin mixed accordingly become bronze. Now that (bronze) is some patina for the eyes to behold.
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    panjandrum said:
    Yes:(

    They may actually be made of zinc too, although I suspect that stopped long ago and the actual counter top in this example was stainless steel.


    Stainless steel can be stained. You should see my SS Cafetiere (please accents to taste).
    I think "stainless" in "stainless steel" must have been a clever marketing ploy.

    In French and Italian it is "non-oxydising". (inoxydable, inossidabile)

    The Germans have a two-way bet. It can be Rostfrei = rust free, or Edel = Noble.
     

    stargazer

    Senior Member
    Slovenia, Slovenian
    Charles Costante said:
    This link gives some information on zinc staining, which may interest you. There is more than one page, so just click at the appropriate section to continue.

    http://www.biocompare.com/tutorials/2DE_tutorial/html/zinc_copper.asp
    Thank you for helping me out here! I think I'll have to take some time and read it through.

    Thank you too: nycphotography, DAH, & Brioche! :)

    You've all been very helpful!
     

    mora

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    Hello

    'Stainless steel' is never the same as 'zinc'. They are different metals. Stainless steel is a type of steel that has at least 10% chromium and small amounts of other things added to it so it does not readily rust or corrode. It will still react to some chemicals, and if conditions are right may still rust. So it can be 'stained'.

    Zinc (Zn) is a different metal, bluer and duller than stainless steel that does not rust, though it can be 'stained' for aesthetic effect, or can be stained through use, ie made dirty. Solid zinc countertops are more expensive than stainless steel.

    One way of protecting steel from rusting is to add chromium and make it 'stainless', another much cheaper method is to add a coating of zinc to steel. This process is called 'galvanizing', the material is called 'galvanized' or 'galvanized steel' . It is usually used for roofing and wall cladding, it would be used on a countertop only when stainless steel would be too expensive. It will stain on a countertop pretty readily. It is a very thin coating, and on a countertop would likely get worn off in spots, leaving rust stains on the unprotected steel below. In the example given by stargazer, I believe the author was trying to convey a sense of contrast between the expensive Gaggia machine and the cheap, stained (ie damaged) countertop.

    Apologies for being so long winded :eek:

    Mora
     

    stargazer

    Senior Member
    Slovenia, Slovenian
    mora said:
    Hello

    'Stainless steel' is never the same as 'zinc'. They are different metals. Stainless steel is a type of steel that has at least 10% chromium and small amounts of other things added to it so it does not readily rust or corrode. It will still react to some chemicals, and if conditions are right may still rust. So it can be 'stained'.

    Zinc (Zn) is a different metal, bluer and duller than stainless steel that does not rust, though it can be 'stained' for aesthetic effect, or can be stained through use, ie made dirty. Solid zinc countertops are more expensive than stainless steel.

    One way of protecting steel from rusting is to add chromium and make it 'stainless', another much cheaper method is to add a coating of zinc to steel. This process is called 'galvanizing', the material is called 'galvanized' or 'galvanized steel' . It is usually used for roofing and wall cladding, it would be used on a countertop only when stainless steel would be too expensive. It will stain on a countertop pretty readily. It is a very thin coating, and on a countertop would likely get worn off in spots, leaving rust stains on the unprotected steel below. In the example given by stargazer, I believe the author was trying to convey a sense of contrast between the expensive Gaggia machine and the cheap, stained (ie damaged) countertop.

    Apologies for being so long winded :eek:

    Mora

    Don't apologize, I love long explanations! Thank you very much for your contribution! I'm thinking of a Slovenian word for "stained" as we speak.
    Thanks again to everyone! :)
     
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