Tin plating is an industrial process where metal objects are coated with a thin layer of tin. This process can be applied to many types of base metals, including steel, iron, and copper. Tin plating improves the appearance of these metals for certain applications, and also helps to increase their performance and durability. After tin has been applied to a metallic base element, the resulting material is often referred to as tinplate.
Perhaps the best known application for tin plating is the coating metal cans used for storing food. Tinplate also serves as a common material for making pots, pans, and other cookware. This plating technique is used to prepare metal for use in construction, such as with metal roofing or siding. It is also applied to electronics components and other parts used in manufacturing.
Manufacturers rely on two basic techniques to create tin plated objects. The older of these two methods involves melting the tin into a molten liquid, then dipping a metal object in and allowing it to dry. In a similar process known as tin lead plating, lead is added to the tin in order to lower its melting point.