Q:

What is tin made of?

A:

Tin is an element that is made up of the mineral cassiterite and mined from the crust of the earth. The combination of cassiterite and carbon in a high heat setting forms the type of tin that is used in modern applications.

There are many modern uses for tin that don't include the typical tin can, which is not a tin can at all. Tin cans are actually made of steel and are coated with tin to help keep them from rusting. The tin forms a protective layer around the steel without compromising its integrity.

Tin is commonly used to make windows. The material can be melted down to liquid form where glass can be poured into the mixture. When the mixture cools, the glass separates from the tin and forms a nearly perfect, parallel-structured window pane. These windows are ideal because they are easy to see through and generally do not have any imperfections.

There are not many applications of tin that do not involve the mixture of other metals. Tin can be mixed with copper to make bronze and can be mixed with lead to make pewter. These applications can make everything from ultra-strong metal fittings to conductive metals that aid in the wiring of electricity.

Sources:

  1. jlab.org

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