“Life is too short to drink bad wine,” Goethe said. To ensure the quality of those precious drops, bottles of good wine now come with capsules made of tin. The light metal is easily shaped and is ideal for sealing bottles to be nearly airtight. But tin also preserves the quality of cheaper products as well.
TIN IS A FIXTURE IN ALMOST EVERY CUPBOARD
Tin can be easily cut with a knife and rolled into paper-thin foil. Thanks to its good formability and low toxicity, the silvery-white metal is ideal for use in the food sector. About one-third of the global output of corrosion-resistant tin is used to preserve food and drinks. For instance, as an alloy metal, it goes into tin plate for canned goods. Tin is also used to help smooth glass surfaces.
Alloyed with copper, it is vital for the fabrication of (tin) bronze. This has been used in artistic handicrafts for millennia, but also to manufacture turbines and gears.
AN ATTRACTIVE INDUSTRIAL METAL
Tin’s low melting point makes it highly attractive to a wide range of industries, in particular to the electronics sector, which accounts for over 50 % of tin currently in use. Here, tin is primarily used for soldering purposes (particularly in soft solders). Tin is also a component of LED flat screens and is used in the chemical industry. Forecasts for the tin market estimate annual volume growth of about 2 % until 2022.
More TIN through recycling
Tin is a minor metal found in our raw materials. We recover it by recycling these materials using resource-efficient, environmentally sound processes in our plant in Lünen (Germany), where we produce tin composite. Our sales of tin amounted to approximately 1,851 t in fiscal year 2017/18. We therefore boost the importance of recycling for the tin supply, as roughly 15 % of tin output comes from secondary sources.