How Is Tin Plating Used And What Are The Benefits?

What Is Tin Plating?

Tin plating, also known as tinning, is an industrial process of metal plating during which the surface of metal objects is coated with a thin layer of tin. This process can be applied to a range of metals such as iron, copper, or steel. Once the tin has been applied to this metallic base element, the resulting material is usually called a tinplate.

What Is Tin Plating Used For?

Tin plating is widely used for electroplating applications in a range of industries including electronics, aerospace, jewellery manufacture, but perhaps the most common application for tin plating solution is the tin cans that are widely used for storing food products. The tin plating process is also utilised in the making of pots, pans, and other cookware known as tinware, as well as in the manufacture of electronic parts and components.

How Does Tin Plating Process Work?

Two metal finishing methods used by manufacturers to create tin-plated objects are hot-dipping and electroplating. Hot dipping, an older method, is the process of dipping a metal object into a pure molten tin.

The alternative to this is to coat an object using a process of tin electroplating, and it is the process that we use at Dorsetware. In tin electroplating, the object to be coated is placed into a container containing a solution of one or more tin salts that were dissolved in water. Then an electric current is run through the water, which causes the tin ions to be attracted to a metal object, creating a thin coating of tin. The electroplated metal is then briefly heated above the melting point of tin, resulting in a smooth and shiny finish.

What Are The Benefits Of Tin Plating?

There are many benefits to using a tin electroplating solution, some of which include:

  • Corrosion resistance

Tin electroplating is a great method of protecting metals like iron or steel from corrosion. A thin layer of tin on the surface of these metals can help inhibit oxidation and extend the life expectancy of your products. While zinc plating is also often used to help with corrosion, zinc is known to be too toxic to be used in food or medical applications, therefore tin plating is the perfect plating solution for these kinds of industries.

  • Conductivity

Tin plating can do more than just shield other metals though as it also provides a good, clean contact surface, that creates an optimal surface for conducting electrical currents. This makes bright acid tin an ideal metal finish for electronics, wiring, and conduit.

  • Solderability

Another great benefit of tin plating is that it can increase the solderability of a metal object, making it easier to weld it to another surface.

  • Cost

Last but not least, tin electroplating is a far less expensive metal plating solution, especially when compared to other metals, such as gold plating or silver plating.

At Dorsetware we are the experts in the industries of electroplating and metal finishing and are fully accredited to provide bright acid tin electroplating services on any requested items or products. Discover more on what our team can do for you in our guide to bright acid tin plating.

If you’d like to find out more about the tin plating process or to enquire about our bright acid tin plating services, please contact Dorsetware on 01202 677939 or use our online contact form and we will be happy to help.

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