Taper washers are designed for use on channel sections, underneath nuts nuts with tapered flanges to enable the bolt to fit square when tightened.
Zinc coatings prevent oxidation of the protected metal to create a longer lasting finish. It does this by forming a barrier and by acting as a sacrificial anode if this barrier is damaged. Zinc oxide is a fine white dust that (in contrast to iron oxide) does not trigger a breakdown of the substrates surface integrity as it is formed. The zinc oxide, if left intact, can act as a barrier to further oxidation, in a way similar to the protection afforded to aluminium and stainless steels by their oxide layers.