Hunter Zinc is a zinc sheet metal material with a custom patina developed by Zahner. The surface serves as an enduring alternative to painted surfaces.
Patina systems developed by Zahner are a direct result of twenty years of research and development with Zinc patination. The development of stable patina on Zinc requires a strong background in science, and an understanding of chemical compounds, various climates, and their atmospheric and local conditions.
Zahner runs an EPA certified facility for the production of patinas on zinc, copper, and weathering steel. One of the significant hurdles for producing zinc sheet metal with custom patinas is meeting the high standards for waste management and sustainability.
One of many custom patinas in development at Zahner, the first large-scale project to use the surface was the eponymous Hunter Museum in Chattanooga, TN for Architect Randall Stout Architects. The same patina was used on the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.
Surface patina should not be confused with paint. A patina is a mineralized oxide on metal that is self-limiting (rust, for instance, is not self-limiting because it will continue to eat through a surface). A patina is a reaction to the elements that in turn provides a protective barrier from the elements.
The variegated material has a matte surface naturally, and features an organic variance from panel to panel. The result is a look that can function both for contemporary as well as historic aesthetics.
How a Surface Patina Changes over Time
Left to its own devices, raw uncoated zinc will either grow lighter, or slowly darken over time depending on the environmental conditions. In environments with prolonged direct moisture, the outward face of the zinc may be susceptible to white-gray areas and streaks. Under typical conditions, the patina color will darken over time. Zinc is a sophisticated material that ages with integrity not unlike the elegance of a copper patina.
For best performance, the back face of the zinc material should not be exposed to moisture. If exposed to moisture attack from the reverse side, it may result in perforation/disintegration of the surface over time. This is why the back facing of zinc is sometimes covered with plastisol or a similar coating.