Apparently tin isn't always a metal.

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by OldPArtner, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. OldPArtner

    OldPArtner New Member

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    At freezing temperatures, pure tin transforms from a lustrous, ductile, electrically-conductive metal to a dull gray nonconductive powder; normally it takes months but New Scientist was able to speed the autocatalytic reaction even more, to just over a day: YouTube - Metal-eating "pest" caught on film
     
  2. exwhyzee

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    I like tin, its a good old fashioned metal that we just don't use enough these days. :rolleyes:

    Fascinating factiods: Most the elaborate ceilings that you see inside turn-of-the-twentieth century commercial buildings that people call "tin ceilings" are in fact pressed steel (or steel coated with tin/lead called "terne"). Because of the inherent issues with tin, it was historically paired with other metals such as copper (= bronze), and lead/copper (= pewter).

    Viva Tin!
     
  3. JustAsking

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    Traditionally, solder was made out of a lead/tin mixture, which gave it the proper eutectic properties at soldering temperature, but left a shiny and very conductive joint when it cooled.

    Circuit boards and wires are also tin-plated to create a conductive coating that protects the copper from corroding. To this day, when you prepare a bare copper wire for soldering by melting solder onto it, it is called "tinning".

    Isn't this all fascinating?
     
  4. uniqueusername

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    During Napoleon's invasion of Russia, the French soldiers' tin buttons crumbled to dust because of this reaction. This made it more difficult for them to keep warm and made them unable to shoot very well, because they had to use one hand to hold their coats closed.
     
  5. OldPArtner

    OldPArtner New Member

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    Actually no; it doesn't happen *that* quickly, and also if the tin is a little bit impure it doesn't suffer from the tin pest.
     
  6. Deno

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    minus 35 degrees, damn I hope I never get caught in that type temps with tin buttons.
     
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