Tin

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Tin
Name Tin
Symbol Sn
Atomic number 50
Atomic mass 118.710 amu
Normal state solid
Classification Metal
Number of Stable Isotopes 10
Date of discovery Tin has been known since ancient times
Name of discoverer Unknown
Name origin From the Latin stannum

Tin is a fairly common and useful metal. It can exist as two different allotropes near room temperature. Grey tin is not very useful, but above 55.76 °F (13.2 °C) it becomes white tin, which is widely useful. For this reason, antimony or bismuth are sometimes added to white tin so that it does not change.[1]

History

It's believed that people have been using tin for at least 5500 years, according to archaeological evidence. Tin is usually extracted from cassiterite (SnO2), which is mined primarily in Malaysia.[2] Although Tin was sometimes used by itself, copper was often alloyed with about 5 percent of tin it produced bronze, which was far more useful.

Uses

Pure Uses

Tin is used as protective coating on some other metals. For example, "tin" food cans are actually made of steel, and coated with tin.[3]

Molecules, Mixes, and Alloys

Tin salts are used in the Pilkington process, which is used to manufacture window glass. Tin(IV) oxide is used for ceramics and gas sensors. Tin(II) chloride is a reducing agent and a mordant for dyeing calico and silk.[4] A compound containing tin, Zinc stannate (ZnSnO3 or Zn2SnO4), is used as a fire-retardant in plastic materials.[5] Specially prepared Zinc Stannate films also have the unusual and useful property of conducting electricity while being transparent to light.[6]

References