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Get to Know: Tin

As part of our series of blogs where we look at some of the metals we use in our various services and processes, here at Qualitetch, alongside the photo etching and metal stamping, we also provide a service for  plating and finishing. One of the metals we regularly use in these processes is Tin. Of course, tin is a metal that you will all have heard of but you might be interested to find out a few facts about the metal.

Tin is a fascinating metal that has many uses and attributes which make it unique and significant to industry around the world – who knew?

Without further ado, please read on for some fascinating facts about tin.

Top Facts about Tin

  • The elemental symbol for Tin is Sn, taken from the Latin word ”˜stannum’
  • Tin has been used for thousands of years since ancient civilisations discovered it – creating the Bronze age
  • There is a big misconception that much of the food we buy in supermarkets comes in tin cans. This is partly true, but in reality, we buy aluminium cans. Aluminium is much cheaper, lighter and recyclable compared to tin
  • Even the original tin cans were actually tin plated steel containers!
  • One of the biggest uses for tin is tinfoil. A common household product that is so thin and disposable that we often forget it is made of metal
  • Tin is largely consumed as alloys, especially as Bronze (Tin + Copper )
  • Tin is used as a lead alloy to solder in electronics
  • When combined with niobium, it becomes superconductive and is also used in wiring
  • Tin is quite rare. In fact, there is only two parts tin for every million found on the Earth’s crust
  • Tin is mostly found in Malaya, Indonesia, Zaire, Thailand and Nigeria
  • Tin has an extremely low melting point – between 232 and 291 degrees Celsius
  • Tin’s boiling point, however, is 2602 degrees Celsius
  • Tin is a solid at room temperature and is quite malleable as a metal
  • Oscar statues are believed to be made of gold. In fact, they are approximately 92% tin and are plated with gold
  • The  Pilkington Process  is one that uses a molten tin mould to make glass silky smooth
  • Tin is used to help the textile dying process, and can be found in some toothpaste
  • Bending tin produces a high pitched noise, akin to a cry. This is due to the tin crystals snapping
  • Acid dissolves tin, but it is resistant to water and air