Tin has been known since ancient times. It has been traced back to the Egyptians in 2000 BC when it was used in bronze. Tin’s name comes from the Etruscan god named Tinia. Its chemical symbol, Sn, is an abbreviation of its Latin name, Stannum. Tin is found on both land and in the sea. Major tin producing countries include Malaysia, Indonesia, Bolivia, Thailand, Russia, and Brazil. Unfortunately for these countries? economies, the huge demand for tin has dropped drastically since the production of aluminum. Aluminum is easier and cheaper to produce.
Tin is in about fiftieth place on the list of elements most commonly found in the earth’s crust. Scientists estimate that the crust is about 1-2 parts per million of tin.
Stannum has a melting point of about 232 degrees Celsius. It is a soft and weak metal, so it is never used by itself. Tin is non corrosive. It can also conduct heat and electricity very easily. Tin has no taste and no smell. Stannum has three naturally occuring forms that include white tin, gray tin, and brittle tin. White tin is the most common. It is metallic and malleable and occurs when temperatures are above 13.2 degrees Celsius and below 161 degrees Celsius. White tin turns into gray tin when temperatures dip below 13.2 degrees Celsius. Gray tin is brittle and powdery. The third form of tin, brittle tin, occurs at temperatures above 161 degrees Celsius.
A strange property of tin is its ability to make a screeching sound when it is bent. This sound is referred to as “tin cry.” Tin reacts slowly in dilute acids, but quickly in concentrated acids. It also reacts easily in alkaline solutions. Another interesting fact is that ten naturally occuring isotopes and fifteen radioactive isotopes have been discovered.
The process of separating tin from other compounds is relatively easy. The process begins with washing the mixture over riffles. It’s like a wash board with its wavy accordion fold look. The tin set

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