Tin (Sn) - Properties, Applications

Topics Covered

Chemical Properties
Physical Properties
Mechanical Properties
Thermal Properties


Tin is a silvery, soft and pliable metal which resists corrosion. The atomic number of tin is 50 and it is a period 4, group 4 element in the periodic table. The chemical name for tin is stannum and is represented by Sn. Tin resists corrosion from distilled sea water and soft tap water; however, strong acids and alkalis attack tin. Tin is susceptible to creep deformation at room temperature.

Tin forms bonds with various organic compounds. Some of the major tin-bearing minerals are cassiterite and stannine which are are distributed in Malaysia, Thailand, Zaire, Indonesia and Bolivia. Pure tin is formed by the reduction of coal. This datasheet looks into the properties and applications of tin.

Chemical Properties

The chemical properties of tin are provided in the table below:

Chemical Data
CAS number 7440-31-5
Thermal neutron cross section 0.65 barns/atom
Electrode potential -0.140 V
Ionic radius 0.710 Å
Electro negativity 1.96
X-ray absorption edge 0.42468 Å
Electrochemical equivalent 1.107 g/A/h

Physical Properties

The following table discusses the physical properties of tin.

Properties Metric Imperial
Density 5.765 g/cm3 0.208 lb/in3
Melting point 231.96 °C 449.543 °F
Boiling point 2602 °C 4716 °F

Mechanical Properties

The mechanical properties of tin are tabulated below.

Properties Metric Imperial
Tensile strength 220 MPa 31900 psi
Modulus of elasticity (Cast) 41.6 GPa 6030 ksi
Shear modulus 15.6 GPa 2260 ksi
Hardness, Brinell 2.3 2.3

Thermal Properties

The thermal properties of tin are tabulated below.

Properties Metric Imperial
Thermal expansion co-efficient (@-50°C/-58°F) 5.40 µm/m°C 3 µin/in°F
Thermal conductivity 63.2 W/mK 439 BTU in/hr.ft².°F


The following are the application areas of tin:

  • Tinplate foil
  • Collapsible tubes, block tin products and pewter
  • Alloying, coatings and powder applications
  • Coating steel cans
  • Solder for joining pipes or electric circuits.

Tin compounds are used in making toothpastes, gas sensors and ceramics. Alloys of tin are used as super conducting magnets.

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