Tin is a member of Group 14 (IVA) in the periodic table. The periodic table is a chart that shows how chemical elements are related to one another. Tin is also part of the the carbon family. Other carbon family elements include carbon, silicon, germanium, and lead. Tin is a highly workable metal that was once as valuable as silver for jewelry, coins, and special dishware. Today it is used as sheets in the construction of buildings and roofs, for soldering or joining metal parts, for storage containers, and in alloys like bronze and Babbitt metal. Discovery and naming
Tin, its alloys, and its compounds have been known to humans for thousands of years. A number of references to the element can be found in the Bible. Tin was apparently known to other civilizations also. For example, the sacred Hindu book Rig Veda, written in about 1000 B.C., mentions tin among other metals known to the Hindus. SYMBOL
Group 14 (IVA)
The alloy of tin known as bronze was probably produced even earlier than the pure metal. An alloy is made by melting and mixing two or more metals. The mixture has properties that are different than any of the metals alone. The Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Babylonians, and Peruvians were producing bronze as far back as 2000 B.C.The alloy was probably discovered accidentally when copper and tin compounds were heated together. Over time, a method for producing consistent bronze was developed.
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Bronze became popular among ancient peoples because it was harder and tougher than copper. Before the discovery of bronze, many metal items were made out of copper. But copper is soft and bends easily. Bronze is a much better replacement for copper in tools, eating utensils, and weapons. Bronze marked a significant advance in human civilization. This strong alloy improved transportation methods, food preparation, and quality of life during a period now known as the Bronze Age (4000—3000 B.C. ). The origin of the name tin is lost in history. Some scholars believe it is named for the Etruscan god Tinia. During the Middle Ages, the metal was known by its Latin name, stannum. It is from this name that the element's symbol, Sn, is derived. Physical properties
The most common allotrope of tin is a silver-white metallic-looking solid known as the β-form (or "beta-form"). Allotropes are forms of an element with different physical and chemical properties. This "white tin" has a melting point of 232°C (450°F), a boiling point of 2,260°C (4,100°F), and a density of 7.31 grams per cubic centimeter. One of tin's most interesting properties is its tendency to give off a strange screeching sound when it is bent. This sound is sometimes known as "tin cry." β-tin is both malleable and ductile. Malleable means capable of being hammered into thin sheets. Ductile means capable of being drawn into a thin wire. At temperatures greater than 200°C, tin becomes very brittle. A second form of tin is α-tin (or "alpha-tin"), also known as "gray tin." Gray tin forms when white tin is cooled to temperatures less than about 13°C. Gray tin is a gray amorphous (lacking a crystalline shape) powder. The change from white tin to gray tin takes place rather slowly. This change is responsible for some peculiar and amazing changes in objects made from
the element For example, tin and its alloys are used in jewelry, kitchenware, serving cups, and other metallic objects. When these objects are cooled...