Tin: uses

The following uses for tin are gathered from a number of sources as well as from anecdotal comments. I'd be delighted to receive corrections as well as additional referenced uses (please use the feedback mechanism to add uses).

  • used to coat other metals to prevent corrosion or other chemical action (tin cans are made from tin coated steel)
  • alloying agent, important alloys incldue soft solder, type metal, fusible metal, pewter, bronze, bell metal, Babbitt metal, White metal, die casting alloy, and phosphor bronze
  • the chloride (SnCl2.H2O) is used as a reducing agent and as a mordant in calico printing
  • tin salts sprayed onto glass are used to produce electrically conductive coatings. These have been used for panel lighting and for frost-free wind-shields
  • window glass is made by floating molten glass on molten tin (float glass) to produce a flat surface (Pilkington process)
  • a crystalline tin-niobium alloy is superconductive at very low temperatures. Such magnets, made of tin-niobium wire, weigh just a few pounds and produce magnetic fields that are comparable to that of a 100 ton electromagnet
  • trialkyl and triaryl tin compounds are biocides - there is concern over their environmental effects. Tributyltin is the active ingredient in a type of antifouling paint used on ships.

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