Tin Manufacturing as a hobby

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Tin is a silvery-white metal that is highly ductile and malleable. It has good resistance to corrosion and widely used as a protective coat for food containers. If you combine tin with copper, you get bronze. Stannous fluoride, a well known tin compound is added to toothpaste to prevent tooth decay.

The earliest known usage of tin dates back to the Bronze Age, around 3200 B.C. The earliest mining district in Europe appears to be located in Erzgebirge, which is between Czech Republic and Germany. From Erzgebirge, tin was traded via the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean through the Amber road trading route.

The raw material that is widely used in tin manufacturing is cassiterite. They are found naturally below the earth's surface. Raw materials like silica, limestone, carbon, chemicals and salt are used for processing and refining tin. Extracting tin from the ore changes depending on the amount of impurities and the source of the ore deposit. Special tunnels are used to extract the tin ore if it is located deep underground the earth's surface. Dredges or pumps may be used if the ore is located in the gravel between stream beds. More than 70% of the world's tin can be found in gravel deposits. The gravel deposits are brought up by a floating dredge using a long boom with chain driven buckets and a suction pipe. The gravel is then passed through revolving screens that separates the stones, soil and sand.

 The tin ore obtained from mining is then sent to the cleaning shed which removes coarser foreign materials. It is then sent to a large tank filled with water and chemicals. The ore sinks to the bottom of the tank. The ore is later dried and sent through a magnetic separator which removes the iron particles. The concentrated tin ore thus obtained contains about 80% pure cassiterite.

The tin concentrate that contains pure cassiterite is then placed in a furnace along with coal, limestone and sand and heated to 1500 degree Celsius. The carbon monoxide inside the furnace reacts with cassiterite to form crude tin and slag. The residual slag is heated and purified. The crude tin thus obtained is known as hard head.

The crude tin is then placed in a low temperature furnace and melted. The melted tin is collected in a large kettle while the other materials are discarded. This process is often referred to as liquidation and it removes impurities like arsenic and antimony. The molten tin in the kettle is then boiled with steam, green wood and compressed air. The refined tin obtained is now 99.9% pure.

Indonesia is the largest producer of tin in the world while China has the largest reserves. Over 400,000 tons of tin are manufactured worldwide every year. The tin industry is expected to grow at a rapid pace as new applications are developed.

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Daniel Blinman has 1 articles online

Daniel Blinman is writing on behalf of Tinware Direct, who are tin companies and tin manufacturers

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Tin Manufacturing as a hobby

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This article was published on 2011/08/16