Tin is used to coat other metals to prevent corrosion, such as in tin cans which are made of tin coated steel, and which have been in use since the early 19th century:
Specification of the Patent granted to PETER DURAND of Hoxton-square, in the County of Middlesex, Merchant; for a ‘Method of preserving Animal Food, Vegetable Food and other perishable Articles, a long Time from perishing or becoming useless.’ Communicated to him by a Person residing abroad, (1811).
But the origin of the tin can is controversial: ‘The story of how the tin can nearly wasn’t‘ (source: BBC, 2013)
Alloys of tin are important, such as:
- soft solder: Improvements in or relating to high tin solder compositions (1949),
- pewter: Tin-containing alloys (1953),
- bronze: Improvements in or relating to copper tin alloys (1950), and
- phosphor bronze: Improvements in or relating to copper tin alloys (1950).
A niobium-tin alloy is used for superconducting magnets: Improvements in or relating to method for making superconductive niobium-tin wire and wire made thereby (1965).
Most window glass is made by floating molten glass on molten tin to produce a flat surface: Improvements in or relating to the manufacture of flat glass (1967).
Tin compounds deposited on to glass are used to produce electrically conductive coatings: Process for applying a transparent electrically conductive coating of tin oxide on glass (1960).
Tin(IV) oxide is used for ceramics (Preparation and use of dispersions (1990)), and gas sensors (A method of producing a stannic oxide type gas-detecting device (1982)).
Zinc stannate and hydroxystannates are fire-retardants used in plastics: Zinc Stannate And Hydroxystannate (1990).
Tin (II), (stannous) compounds, especially fluorine-containing compounds can be used in toothpastes: Toothpastes containing stannous tin compounds (1959)).
Stannene is the tin analogue of graphene and has been described as having 2D transistor characteristics: 2-D Material Transistor with Vertical Structure (2019).