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April 6 2012 6 06 /04 /April /2012 14:39

I have compiled a list of sources for the elements that are available to the amateur chemist. Tin will be discussed here.   


Tin is a soft, whitish-gray metal in the carbon group. Tin is moderately reactive and quite resistant to corrosion by air or water. It dissolves slowly in hydrochloric acid, forming a colorless solution of tin(II) chloride. Tin(II) chloride is a reducing agent, capable of reducing copper(II) chloride to copper(I) chloride, for instance. Tin also forms a tetravalent state, which is predominantly covalent. Cassiterite, composed primarily of tin dioxide, is tin's primary ore. Tin forms two allotropes, one of which (beta tin) is shiny, soft, and metallic; the other, alpha tin, is grayish, dull, brittle, and nonmetallic. Addition of elements like antimony prevents the change of beta to alpha at cold temperatures. Tin's compounds are mostly colorless but its iodides are bright red or orange.


In element form: Galinstan, found in Geratherm mercury-free fever thermometers, contains about 10% tin. Tin-lead solders contain about 60% tin. Most common lead-free solders are about 98% tin. Electrolytic oxidation and then reduction of any tin alloy produces pure tin at the cathode. Bronze contains tin.


In compound form: Indium tin oxide is used as a transparent electrode in LCD screens. Tin dioxide is also used in many ceramics.


Here is my sample of tin. It is electrolytically purified powdered tin from a pewter object.



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Published by LanthanumK - in Elements
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