Q:

What is tin made of?

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Quick Answer

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.

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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.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How is tin made?

    A:

    Tin is not a man-made, manufactured product but a naturally occurring metallic element. Like other chemical elements, such as gold or hydrogen, it is produced through natural processes. Because it is one of the most abundant natural resources in the Earth's crust, it is not necessary for tin to be laboratory created or synthesized, and in many cases, it can also be recycled once it has been used. Tin is used as an ingredient in several man-made metal alloys, including bronze, which is a mix of copper, tin and pewter, which is a mix of tin and lead.

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  • Q:

    Will a magnet stick to tin?

    A:

    Tin does not have significant measurable magnetic attraction. The volume magnetic susceptibility of tin is negative 0.0000227, and it is classified as a paramagnetic material with aluminum, copper sulfate and oxygen.

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  • Q:

    When is an element chemically active?

    A:

    An element’s chemical activity is defined as its stability relative to the elements surrounding it on the periodic table. Chemical activity is also related to electronegativity. Elements that are highly electronegative are highly reactive, while elements that have low electronegativity are less reactive.

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  • Q:

    Where was tin discovered?

    A:

    No one is completely sure about the specific time or location of the discovery of tin because it was discovered very long ago. Tools, weapons and figures made of metals including tin have been found and dated as far back as the year 3,000 B.C.

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