Tin is used with many alloys, and most importantly used for tin plating of steel, and food packaging in tin cans. It is a ductile, malleable and a silvery-white metal. It is also one of the first superconductors, and the features used in superconducting the tin crystals. It is used for polishing other metals but resists the corrosion from water. Tin is generated through long S-process that arises via beta decay of the isotopes of the indium. Its important source is Cassiterite ore, and smaller quantities are also obtained through the processing of stannite, franckeite, canfieldite, and tealite ores. It is produced by using a combination of processes involving electric or reverberatory furnaces, carbothermic reduction, mining, and smelting.
Leading Countries in Tin Production
China tops the list in tin production as the country produces 125,000 metric tons each year, while Indonesia produces 84,000 metric tons, Peru 23,700 metric tons, Bolivia 18,000 metric tons, Brazil 12,000 metric tons, and Myanmar 11,000 metric tons.
China is the leading producer of tin in the world and many of its large companies are related to the production of this metal. The tin producing important regions are Yunnan province and the Guangxi Zhuang region. The net exports of tin is recorded at 26,300 metric tonnes but recently the country decided to cut 40% of its tin exports in the wake of call from the government. The companies related to tin production are Yunnan Tin Group that produces 40,000 metric tonnes and Yunnan Chengfeng produces 20,000 metric tonnes. The metal is mainly used in solders, electrical construction and tin production.
One-third of the world’s production comes from Indonesia and is mainly extracted from Belitung and the Bangka Islands. The country exports 100,000 metric tonnes of tin annually and 90% of it comes from these Islands. The metal is also produced through recycling of pure tin that is 8% and other than PT Timah Company, there are many small smelters operating in these areas. The main products include tin alloys, low lead tin, tin ingots, chemicals and solder.
Peru is the third largest producer of tin and the only tin producer in the country are the Minsur. It produces 38,000 metric tons in the year 2010, and its principal producer is the San Rafael Mine that is located in the Puno. The country is a leading producer in Latin America and produced 15.5% of the world’s output of tin. The prices of the metal will increase in the near future due to high demand.
Uses and Applications of Tin
Tin is used in the combination with other metals and as a pure metal in the manufacturing of recipients of carbonated drinks, beer, distilled water, and electronic valves. The metal is brought to use for the electro-plating of the small coat around the objects of copper, aluminium and steel. The applications of tin is done in the window glass as it is made by floating it on the molten tin and its salt is sprayed on the glass for the production of electrically conductive coatings on its flat surface. The metal is used in the electronic industry as a bonding material and a solder as it has low melting point.