When alloyed with suitable other metals, zinc’s rather brittle nature can be reduced, and alloys of zinc are rolled into sheet and used in the building and architectural industry, where zinc’s corrosion resistance and strength is the main quality required. Zinc sheet is used for roofing and for rainwater gutters and down pipes, although this application tends to be concentrated in the European countries of Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and, to some extent, France.
Zinc sheet is also used to makes battery casings (cans) for the traditional dry batteries, which are made in large quantities. In this case the zinc can is the battery container as well as acting as the battery anode, i.e. the high reactivity of zinc is being used as a form of energy storage.