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Tin (Sn): Post-Transition Metals

Tin (Sn)

What is Tin?

Tin (Sn), a chemical element belonging to the carbon family, Group 14 (IVa) of the periodic table. It is a soft, silvery white metal with a bluish tinge, known to the ancients in bronze, an alloy with copper. Tin is widely used for plating steel cans used as food containers, in metals used for bearings, and in solder. The origins of tin are lost in antiquity. Continue reading from Encyclopedia Britannica

The History

Tin had a direct impact on human history mainly on account of bronze, although it could be used in its own right, witness a tin ring and pilgrim bottle found in an Egyptian tomb of the eighteenth dynasty (1580–1350 BC). The Chinese were mining tin around 700 BC in the province of Yunnan. Pure tin has also been found at Machu Picchu, the mountain citadel of the Incas.

When copper was alloyed with around 5 per cent of tin it produced bronze, which not only melted at a lower temperature, so making it easier to work, but produced a metal that was much harder, and ideal for tools and weapons. The Bronze Age is now a recognized stage in the development of civilization. How bronze was discovered we do not know, but the peoples of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Indus valley started using it around 3000 BC. Continue reading from Royal Society of Chemistry

Tin Facts

Tin is an element perhaps best known for its use in tin cans — which, these days, are almost always actually aluminum. Even the original tin cans, first introduced in the 1800s, were mostly steel, plated with tin. So tin may be unassuming, but it's not unimportant. This metal is used to prevent corrosion and to produce glass. It's most often found mixed, or alloyed, with other metals. Pewter, for example, is mostly tin. Continue reading from LiveScience

Chart of Elemental Properties for Tin

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