Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tin pest

Factoid type post: Relatively pure Tin (Sn) deteriorates upon cooling below 13.2C. As this temperature is regularly encountered in the Canadian climate, this must be taken into account when shipping pure Sn. This deterioration is a phase change due to the crystalline structure changing from a cubic to a tetragonal and thus termed an allotropic transformation. It is completely reversible, however as you can see from the video it would certainly severely compromise the structure of anything made from pure tin. Apparently, this was first noticed, in tin church pipe organs in medieval Europe and called Tin pest. It appears to spread as it is an autocatalytic process.


1 comments:

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