Tin vs Aluminum
Tin and Aluminum are two important metals used by mankind for different purposes, but common man now uses aluminum foil while it was tin foil before the invention of aluminum foil. While aluminum is one metal that is abundantly found inside earth, tin is rarely found and the reserves of tin are sparsely located in some parts of the world. Both aluminum and tin are used mainly to make alloys. Tin plating makes steel corrosion free and being low on toxicity, tin cans are used for beverages. Both tin and aluminum are similar in appearance, whitish and shiny, but there are many differences in their physical and chemical properties that will be highlighted in this article.
Tin is a white, silvery metallic element with atomic number 50. It is found in compounds where it shows two oxidation states of +2 and +4. It is 49th most abundant material on earth, but it only means that tin is scarcely found on earth. It is unique in the sense that it makes 10 stable isotopes. Main mineral from which tin is obtained is known as cassiterite, and tin is found as tin oxide in this mineral (SnO2).
The best use of tin is in making a coating of this silvery metal over other metals to prevent corrosion. Tin is also credited with being used in the first alloy made by man, bronze. Tin was added to copper to make bronze. Pewter is another alloy that was used prominently till 20th century. Even today tin is used mostly as an alloy. If you have seen an electrician using his soldering machine, you must have noticed the wire that he uses for the purpose. It is an alloy containing tin and lead.
Tin is malleable, ductile, and crystalline. It is one of the first superconductors (it becomes a superconductor at low temperatures) that was studied, and Meissner effect is still taught to students. China has largest tin reserves in the world.
Aluminum is a silvery white metal that is found abundantly in earth’s crust. It makes up 8% of the weight of earth’s crust. It is a highly reactive metal which is why it is not found in Free State. Hundreds of compounds contain aluminum, and bauxite is the main ore of the metal that finds many industrial applications. Though aluminum makes many salts, they are not used by any life form. Aluminum has great strength and very low density which is why its alloys are used in construction industries, especially aviation.
The atomic number of aluminum is 13, and it is a non magnetic metal that is malleable and ductile. It is lightweight and strong, and has a shiny appearance. Aluminum is a good conductor which is why it is used in electric wiring. Among metals, it is the most widely used no ferrous metal. Around 40 million tones of aluminum are produced and consumed in various industries. Most common use of aluminum in daily life are aluminum cans and foils. However, aluminum is widely used in construction as windows and doors. It is also used in making utensils and even watches parts. Power distribution is largely dependent upon aluminum.
Difference Between Tin and Aluminum
• The atomic number of tin is 50 while that of aluminum is 13
• Tin is silvery grey while aluminum is silvery white
• Before aluminum arrived, people used tin foils in daily life
• Tin is rarer than aluminum, which is 3rd most abundant element in earth’s crust
• Aluminum is lighter and stronger which is why it is used more in construction
• Both tin and aluminum are used as alloys