Antimony, Tin, and Lead Alloys

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Antimony, tin and lead alloys are used in a wide range of industries. They are particularly effective for casting metals with sharp details, such as those found in postage meter print wheels.

Alloys with high tin content are used for solders, which have a melting point of 183 degC (361 degF). Tin contents can range from 5 to 30 percent, depending on the application. In the automotive industry, tin contents of around 60 to 65 percent are used for soldering radiator cores and other heat-sensitive components.

Lead and its alloys are useful for a variety of applications, including linings in steel structures such as tanks, valves, pipes, and nozzles. It also is an effective anode material for electrowinning and plating.

For example, rolled lead-calcium-tin or lead-silver alloys are widely used in the cathodic protection systems for ships and offshore rigs. They have good resistance to corrosion in seawater and sulfuric acid, which is necessary for electrowinning and plating copper, nickel, and zinc.

Other lead alloys are used for bearings, sheet, and pipe. Some are used for chemical industry piping and building construction because they are resistant to chemicals, such as chlorine, sulfuric acid, and ammonia.

In type metal, lead is blended with tin and antimony in various proportions to meet the specific requirements of each application. The most common ratio is 50-86% lead, 11-30% antimony and 3-20% tin.

The resulting type metals have very low melting points and are excellent for casting sharp details. Because of their high fluidity, they can be used to make mechanical parts such as gears and weights. They also are used in the production of tin-based die castings.

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