The only product that is produced purely out of tin is tinfoil. This material is often used for scientific experiences but also for wrapping other objects such as chocolate bars. Because tin can be flattened in an extremely thin sheet, it allows us to create a large amount of ‘’plating’’ out of only a little bit tin. Besides being used to make tinfoil, this plating also often gets applied to traditional containers. It is estimated that one pound of pure tin can produce up to 130 square feet of tinfoil or plating. (Sciencing, 2018) Thanks to this, tin has become highly popular for plating purposes and is often applied to pure metal cans.
Besides the fact that tin can be easily flattened, there is another reason why it is used as a plating material. Tin does not interact with oxygen – thanks to this, it does not rust or tarnish and is highly resistant to corrosion.
Nowadays, we use most tin in the world for the production of tinplate cans. These empty cans mainly consist out of steel or iron that has been finished off with a tin-plating. Due to this, the entire can only consist out of 1 or 2% tin. This forms a coating over the metal in order to protect it from the elements. Because of its protective features, this plating is used for a vast number of commercial objects such as wrappings like tin cans.
Tin cans mainly serve the purpose of canning foods, holding cosmetics, medicine storage, and for keeping candles in the form of candle tins. Regular metals normally react with the acids that are present in these substances after which they begin to corrode. Once this happens, the cans release molecules that can contaminate the content of your packaging while simultaneously destroying the can itself. This has especially caused problems in the past with wrappings made out of lead. These cans were known to leach dangerous toxins into its content. Tin-plated metal cans, however, are entirely safe for holding food, cosmetics, and medicines for a longer period of time thanks to the fact that it’s resistant to acidic combinations. The only downside about traditional tin-plated cans is the fact that they are significantly heavier than aluminium tins. This makes them less convenient and more expensive to transport.
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