What Is Tin?

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Tin is a soft, silvery-white metallic element with a soft, malleable, and highly crystalline structure. It has a characteristic squealing sound when bent into bars and can be polished to a high shine. It is often coated on the surfaces of other metals to prevent rusting. It is also used to make a variety of low-melting alloys such as soft solder and pewter and to produce phosphor bronze.

It has two allotropes that change under pressure, gray tin and white tin. At low temperatures, pure white tin slowly becomes non-metallic gray tin. This is called ‘tin pest’ and is a problem in some industries.

The atomic number of tin is 119 and it contains two nuclei, one with 69 neutrons and the other with 70 neutrons. The number of neutrons determines the atomic weight of an element.

Tin is an alkali metal that occurs in Group 14 of the periodic table. It is a member of the s-block and shows a tendency to exist in the +4 oxidation state. It can be found in a number of compounds including tin chloride and stannous fluoride, and is used as a mordant for dyeing textiles and as an ingredient in some toothpastes. It is also a precursor to several radioisotopes. The half-life of tin-119 is 43.9 years. American Elements supplies tin-119 as a stable metallic isotope for biomedical and research applications. Additional technical, research and safety (MSDS) information is available as is a Reference Calculator for converting relevant units of measurement.

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