7.287
118.710
[Kr] 4d105s25p2
120Sn
14
5
p
50
2, 8, 18, 18, 4
708.581
Sn
7.287
231.928°C, 449.47°F, 505.078 K
2586°C, 4687°F, 2859 K
approx 2100BC
7440-31-5
4509318
More Information
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Uses and Properties

Image Explanation

The advent of tin-plated steel cans revolutionized the food industry. It allowed for the mass production and widespread distribution of canned goods, preserving food for extended periods.

Appearance

A soft, pliable metal. Below 13°C it slowly changes to a powder form.

Uses

Tin: The Unsung Hero in Our Everyday Lives


In the vast landscape of elements, Tin, with its unassuming presence, emerges as a versatile and indispensable metal that quietly influences numerous aspects of our daily lives. Beyond its association with the iconic tin can, this unpretentious element plays a pivotal role in various industries, showcasing a range of applications that contribute to the functionality and progress of modern society.

 

1. Food Preservation: The Tin Can Legacy


Perhaps one of the most well-known applications of tin is in food preservation. While modern food cans are predominantly made of steel, the historical use of tin-plated steel paved the way for a revolution in food packaging. Tin's corrosion-resistant properties made it an ideal choice for coating steel cans, preventing the metal from reacting with acidic foods and ensuring the longevity of canned goods. The iconic "tin can" became a symbol of convenience, allowing people to store and transport a wide array of perishable items with extended shelf life.

 

2. Soldering and Electronics: Connecting the World


Tin's low melting point is a key attribute that has made it a staple in the electronics industry. Its malleability and ability to form a strong bond when soldered make it an ideal material for creating connections on electronic circuit boards. From the smallest components in your smartphone to intricate circuitry in advanced electronic devices, tin solder plays a crucial role in connecting the pieces that power our interconnected world.

 

3. Alloys and Industrial Applications: Strengthening Structures


Tin's unique properties make it a sought-after component in various alloys that enhance the characteristics of other metals. For instance, bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, is celebrated for its strength and corrosion resistance. This alloy has been historically used in the creation of tools, statues, and even musical instruments. Additionally, tin alloys find applications in bearings, providing low-friction surfaces that contribute to the smooth functioning of machinery in diverse industrial settings.

 

4. Corrosion Resistance in Coatings: Protecting Surfaces


Tin's resistance to corrosion extends beyond its use in food cans. The metal is employed as a coating on other materials, providing a protective layer that shields against the damaging effects of the environment. Tin-plated steel is utilized in the production of a variety of items, including packaging materials, containers, and even household products. This corrosion resistance not only ensures the longevity of these items but also maintains their aesthetic appeal over time.

 

5. Art and Craftsmanship: Tin in Creative Pursuits


Beyond its utilitarian roles, tin has found its way into the realm of art and craftsmanship. Tin alloys, known for their ability to cast intricate details, have been employed in the creation of sculptures, jewelry, and ornamental items. The malleability of tin allows artisans to mold and shape it with precision, adding a touch of artistic flair to a material often associated with industrial functionality.

 

6. Energy Technologies: Contributing to Sustainable Solutions


In the pursuit of sustainable energy solutions, tin has become a key player in various technologies. Tin-based perovskite solar cells have shown promise in enhancing the efficiency of solar panels. The unique properties of tin contribute to the stability and performance of these cells, offering potential advancements in the field of renewable energy.

 

Conclusion: Tin's Enduring Legacy


As we navigate the complexities of the modern world, it's easy to overlook the unassuming yet vital role played by elements like tin. From preserving our food to connecting the circuits that power our devices, tin's versatility is woven into the fabric of our daily existence. As technology advances and industries evolve, the legacy of tin endures, reminding us that even the most humble elements can shape the course of progress and innovation.

History

In the grand narrative of human history, certain elements stand as witnesses to the evolution of civilizations, and Tin, with its enduring presence, is one such silent protagonist. This unassuming metal has traversed through time, leaving an indelible mark on human progress and shaping pivotal moments in our shared journey.

 

Ancient Beginnings: Tin in Antiquity


The story of Tin begins in the mists of antiquity, where its discovery and use date back to the Bronze Age. Early civilizations, including the Mesopotamians and Egyptians, realized the transformative potential of Tin when alloyed with copper. The resulting material, bronze, proved to be a technological leap, providing tools and weapons of superior strength and durability.

The strategic significance of Tin was not lost on ancient traders. The famed Tin Routes, stretching across vast distances, connected regions rich in Tin deposits to civilizations hungry for this precious metal. The maritime exploits of ancient seafarers, navigating treacherous waters to secure sources of Tin, underscored its value as a commodity that fueled trade and geopolitical dynamics.

 

Bronze Age Revolution: Tin and the Rise of Bronze


The Bronze Age marked a pivotal era where Tin played a starring role in human advancement. The alloying of Tin with copper not only resulted in the creation of bronze but also catalyzed a revolution in toolmaking, weaponry, and artistic craftsmanship. From the famed Bronze Bull of Knossos to weapons wielded by warriors in the ancient Near East, Tin-laden bronze became synonymous with technological prowess and cultural expression.

 

Tin in the Silk Road: Connecting East and West


As civilizations flourished along the Silk Road, Tin became a sought-after commodity, traversing vast distances along this ancient trade network. The exchange of goods, ideas, and culture was intricately linked to the trade in Tin, creating a web of connections that spanned from the Mediterranean to the heart of Asia. The cultural diffusion facilitated by the Silk Road further emphasized Tin's role beyond its material attributes, becoming a symbol of exchange and interconnectedness.

 

Medieval Tin: Commerce and Alchemy


The medieval period saw Tin continue its journey as a commodity of commerce. European regions, particularly Cornwall in England, emerged as significant centers of Tin production. The Cornish Tin industry, dating back to pre-Roman times, thrived during the medieval era, contributing substantially to the economic prosperity of the region.

In addition to its economic importance, Tin also found a place in the realm of alchemy, the precursor to modern chemistry. Alchemists, fascinated by the properties of metals, sought to transmute base metals into gold, and Tin, with its malleability and distinct characteristics, became a subject of alchemical inquiry.

 

Tin in the Modern Age: Industry and Innovation


The advent of the Industrial Revolution brought about a paradigm shift in the utilization of Tin. Its corrosion-resistant properties and malleability made it an integral component in the production of tinplate, a thinly coated sheet of steel widely used in packaging. The iconic "tin can" became a household staple, transforming the way food was preserved, distributed, and consumed.

The 20th century witnessed Tin's evolution as a critical component in the electronics industry. Solder, a Tin-based alloy, became the go-to material for creating reliable and durable connections on circuit boards. This application paved the way for the miniaturization of electronic components, laying the foundation for the technological landscape we inhabit today.

 

Tin in the 21st Century: Sustainability and Innovation


As we navigate the 21st century, Tin continues to be a player in our quest for sustainability. Its role in the development of tin-based perovskite solar cells holds promise for advancements in renewable energy technologies. The ability of Tin to contribute to efficient and cost-effective solar panels underscores its adaptability and enduring relevance in the face of contemporary challenges.

 

Conclusion: The Echoes of Tin Through Time


From the Bronze Age to the technological frontiers of the 21st century, Tin has woven its way through the fabric of human civilization. Its journey, marked by trade routes, cultural exchange, and industrial revolutions, is a testament to the enduring impact of seemingly humble elements. Tin's story is not just one of material utility; it is a narrative of resilience, adaptability, and its unwavering presence in the narrative of human progress.

Atomic Data

Atomic Radiues, Non-bonded (A): 2.17
Electron Affinity (kJ mol-1): 107.298
Covalent Radiues (A): 1.40
Electronegativity (Pauling Scale): 1.96
Ionisation Energies (kJ mol-1) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th
708.581 1411.793 2943.054 3930.332 6973.96 - - -

Oxidation States and Isotopes

Common oxidation states 1
Isotope Atomic Mass Natural Abundance Half Life Mode of Decay
112Sn 111.905 0.97 - -
114Sn 113.903 0.66 - -
115Sn 114.903 0.34 - -
116Sn 115.902 14.54 - -
117Sn 116.903 7.68 - -
118Sn 117.902 24.22 - -
119Sn 118.903 8.59 - -
120Sn 119.902 32.58 - -
122Sn 121.903 4.63 - -
124Sn 123.905 5.79 > 2.2 x 1018 y β-β-
 

Supply Risk

Relative Supply Risk: 6.7
Crustal Abundance (ppm): 1.7
Recycle Rate (%): >30
Production Conc.(%) : 46
Top 3 Producers:
1) China
2) Indonesia
3) Peru
Top 3 Reserve Holders:
1) China
2) Indonesia
3) Brazil
Substitutability: Unknown
Political Stability of Top Producer: 24.1
Political Stability of Top Reserve Holder: 24.1

Pressure and Temperature Data

Specific Heat Capacity: 227
Shear Modulus: 18.4
Young Modulus: 49.9
Bulk Modulus: 58.2
Pressure 400k Pressure 600k Pressure 800k Pressure 1000k Pressure 1200k Pressure 1400k Pressure 1600k Pressure 1800k Pressure 2000k Pressure 2200k Pressure 2400k
- - 1.26 x 10-9 8.62 x 10-6 0.0031 0.207 4.85 56.3 - - 58.2

Podcast

Transcript :

Tin is a chemical element found in Group 14 of the periodic table. It has atomic number 50. This element is classified as a post-transition metal. Tin is located in period 5 of the periodic table, between indium and antimony. It is a very important metal to us because it's one of the most important commodities in the world. Some of the most common Tin alloys are copper and bronze. Copper and Tin are widely known for their significant impact on human civilization. The element is chemically similar to lead. The demand for Tin is expected to expand in the next few years as the renewable energy sector grows and electric vehicles gain momentum. But despite its popularity, Tin is at risk of being replaced by cheaper materials, such as Aluminum because of superior strength and durability of this later.

The discovery of Tin is an important milestone in human history. It marks the beginning of the Bronze Age, a period in which people left working with stone and began relying more heavily on metals for tools and weapons. Tin was discovered in the American colonies in the mid-1800s. Although the origin of Tin is unknown, it is commonly thought to have come from copper. After the discovery of Tin in the United States, a mining town called Tin City was established. Production came from dredges installed three years before.

Tin is a relatively scarce element with an abundance in the earth's crust of about 2 parts per million, compared with 94 ppm for zinc, 63 ppm for copper, and 12 ppm for lead. It is most commonly found in the mineral cassiterite. It can be found in metamorphic schists as well. But still cassiterite eroded from lodes, the primary source of the world's Tin supply.

Tin occurs in igneous rock and felsic rocks of Earth's crust. It was first mined in Cornwall and Devon in the UK, and became an important part of the trade networks in the Mediterranean region.

There are two types of Tin mineralization, the sulfide type and the oxide ore type. The sulfide ore type is produced from sulfide-rich granites and granitic rocks. At the time of the formation of the Earth, Tin was present in the primitive mantle in a concentration of 0.13 ppm. Tin's geochemical evolution is characterized by siderophile behavior. Most Tin deposits occur in the high-temperature inner part of larger magmatic-hydrothermal systems. In such cases, crustal input is common. Hydrothermal Tin enrichment can redistribute Tin from the crust, and this redistribution can be observed in a number of systems. However, the location of such depletion can be difficult to determine. A few examples of hydrothermal Tin enrichment can be seen in Egypt and the Pilok area of Thailand.

Tin is a soft and malleable metal that has a very low melting point of just 231.9°C. There are two main oxidation states of tin. Metallic Tin does not oxidize easily in air or water, but it does react with strong acids. It has been known for their ability to resist corrosion and are one of the few malleable metals. In addition, Tin has a chemical stability that is similar to lead. However, it reacts easily with strong bases. A white Tin compound precipitates out of solutions when it comes into contact with hydroxide ions. If Tin is exposed to heat, it will react with oxygen to form Tin dioxide. During this process, it forms an oxide layer that protects it from moisture.

Tin has a broad variety of applications. It is used in the production of bronze, solder and other alloys. Tin is often combined with other elements such as zinc or niobium to make superconductive wires. It is also used in pesticides, and in wood preservation and protection. Other uses include soldering electrical circuits and pipes. In the aerospace industry, Tin is used as an alloy with titanium. One of the most common uses of Tin is as a corrosion-resistant coating on steel containers and food packaging. Another application is in batteries.

Tin is also used in solar energy systems and lithium-ion batteries. And as technology advances, it is becoming more and more essential in a variety of applications. Some of the most promising applications for Tin include electrochemistry, thermoelectric material, and liquid metal technologies. But these are all still relatively new.

References


  • W. M. Haynes, ed., CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, CRC Press/Taylor and Francis, Boca Raton, FL, 95th Edition, Internet Version 2015, accessed December 2014.

  • Tables of Physical & Chemical Constants, Kaye & Laby Online, 16th edition, 1995. Version 1.0 (2005), accessed December 2014.

  • J. S. Coursey, D. J. Schwab, J. J. Tsai, and R. A. Dragoset, Atomic Weights and Isotopic Compositions (version 4.1), 2015, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, accessed November 2016.

  • T. L. Cottrell, The Strengths of Chemical Bonds, Butterworth, London, 1954.

  • John Emsley, Nature’s Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements, Oxford University Press, New York, 2nd Edition, 2011.

  • Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility - Office of Science Education, It’s Elemental - The Periodic Table of Elements, accessed December 2014.