Parents and Teachers: Support Ducksters by following us on Ducksters Facebook or Ducksters Twitter.
Ducksters Educational SiteDucksters Educational Site
History Biography Geography Science Games

Science >> Chemistry for Kids >> Periodic Table
<---Indium       Antimony--->

Elements for Kids

Tin

The element tin

  • Symbol: Sn
  • Atomic Number: 50
  • Atomic Weight: 118.71
  • Classification: Post-transition Metal
  • Phase at Room Temperature: Solid
  • Density (white): 7.365 grams per cm cubed
  • Melting Point: 231°C, 449°F
  • Boiling Point: 2602°C, 4716°F
  • Discovered by: Known about since ancient times


Tin is the fourth element of the fourteenth column of the periodic table. It is classified as a post-transition metal. Tin atoms have 50 electrons and 50 protons with 4 valence electrons in the outer shell.

Characteristics and Properties

Under standard conditions tin is a soft silvery-gray metal. It is very malleable (meaning that it can be pounded into a thin sheet) and can be polished to a shine.

Tin can form two different allotropes under normal pressure. These are white tin and gray tin. White tin is the metallic form of tin we are most familiar with. Gray tin is non-metallic and is a gray powdery material. There are few uses for gray tin.

Tin is resistive to corrosion from water. This allows it to be used as a plating material to protect other metals.

Where is it found on Earth?

Tin is found in the Earth's crust primarily in the ore cassiterite. It is generally not found in its free form. It is around the 50th most abundant element in the Earth's crust.

The majority of tin is mined in China, Malaysia, Peru, and Indonesia. There are estimates that the minable tin on Earth will be gone in 20 to 40 years.

How is tin used today?

The majority of tin today is used to make solder. Solder is a mixture of tin and lead that is used to join pipes and to make electronic circuits.

Tin is also used as a plating to protect other metals such as lead, zinc, and steel from corrosion. Tin cans are actually steel cans covered with a plating of tin.

Other applications for tin include metal alloys such as bronze and pewter, the production of glass using the Pilkington process, toothpaste, and in the manufacture of textiles.

How was it discovered?

Tin has been known about since ancient times. Tin was first heavily used starting with the Bronze Age when tin was combined with copper to make the alloy bronze. Bronze was harder than pure copper and was easier to work with and cast.

Where did tin get its name?

Tin gets its name from the Anglo-Saxon language. The symbol "Sn" comes from the Latin word for tin, "stannum."

Isotopes

Tin has ten stable isotopes. This is the most stable isotopes of all the elements. The most abundant isotope is tin-120.

Interesting Facts about Tin


More on the Elements and the Periodic Table

Elements
Periodic Table

Alkali Metals
Lithium
Sodium
Potassium

Alkaline Earth Metals
Beryllium
Magnesium
Calcium
Radium

Transition Metals
Scandium
Titanium
Vanadium
Chromium
Manganese
Iron
Cobalt
Nickel
Copper
Zinc
Silver
Platinum
Gold
Mercury
Post-transition Metals
Aluminum
Gallium
Tin
Lead

Metalloids
Boron
Silicon
Germanium
Arsenic

Nonmetals
Hydrogen
Carbon
Nitrogen
Oxygen
Phosphorus
Sulfur
Halogens
Fluorine
Chlorine
Iodine

Noble Gases
Helium
Neon
Argon

Lanthanides and Actinides
Uranium
Plutonium

More Chemistry Subjects

Matter
Atom
Molecules
Isotopes
Solids, Liquids, Gases
Melting and Boiling
Chemical Bonding
Chemical Reactions
Radioactivity and Radiation
Mixtures and Compounds
Naming Compounds
Mixtures
Separating Mixtures
Solutions
Acids and Bases
Crystals
Metals
Salts and Soaps
Water
Other
Glossary and Terms
Chemistry Lab Equipment
Organic Chemistry
Famous Chemists


Science >> Chemistry for Kids >> Periodic Table





About Ducksters Privacy Policy   

Follow us on Ducksters Facebook or Ducksters Twitter

This site is a product of TSI (Technological Solutions, Inc.), Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved. By using this site you agree to the Terms of Use.