Tin is a chemical element, having the chemical symbol Sn (from the Latin stannum). Its atomic number (the number of protons) is 50. It has a standard atomic weight of 118.710(7)g/mol and is a solid at room temperature in its elemental form.
Tin is used heavily in many industries, providing (among other uses) a plating which is cost effective in preventing rust formation on iron and steel, and as a major component in almost all varieties of solder. It is also used commonly as a catalyst for silicone mold making.
Pure tin however, has been shown to "grow whiskers" sometimes referred to as "Tin pest" Because of this, pure tin must be used with caution around electronics and electrical circuits, particularly in high voltage and safety related applications. An alloy of tin and lead, or tin and bismuth are sometimes used to help prevent whisker growth.
- What are Tin Whiskers? From the website of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
- Limitation of Hot Solder Dipping for Mitigation of Tin Whisker Formation From the NASA website.
- Tin Plating From the NASA website