Although plenty is made of the recycling industry's approach to reprocessing tin cans, nearly all of the drinks cans that consumers buy these days are made from aluminium. As such, tin is often overlooked as a niche metal which cannot be recycled as easily as things like aluminium or steel. However, tin remains a widely utilised metal in consumer products even though it is not used for drinks cans so much any more. If you have something that is made from tin and think that it cannot be recycled, then you should reconsider. Any scrap metal dealer will be interested in tin so long is it is available in sufficient quantities. How is tin reprocessed and what is it used for?
A Useful Metal
A silvery metal that has a lustrous look, tin is stable and not easily oxidised. This means that it can be put to a huge number of new uses if it is salvaged. In fact, because it has a relatively low melting point, it does not require a great deal of energy in order to turn it from one product into another. This means that the material is in demand across a wide range of industries.
Recycling Versus Extraction
Tin is expensive to extract from its natural ore. As such, it is much better to seek it from salvaged sources round to mine for it directly. With ever decreasing reserves of tin in the ground, it is now thought that most of the tin that goes into new production is sourced from recycling plants. Certainly, this is the case in industrialised countries, like Australia, the UK, the United States and Japan.
Because tin does not oxidise as much as other metals, it has been frequently used to protect them. So-called tinplate has been used, for example, to cover steel products to shield them from the weather and to prevent rust. When steel that has been tinplated is salvaged for recycling, the outer layer of tin will be removed so that it can be used separately from the metal underneath it. However, only after such material has been washed and dried thoroughly can the removal and recovery process of the tinplate begin.
Using Tin Again
Recycled tin can be put into all sorts of new products. One of the most popular ways of repurposing it is to make it into tin solder so that it is used to make new electrical connections between components on a circuit board. Recycled tin is, therefore, widely used in electrical appliances as well as find new functions in a number of building materials and food packaging products.
If you're wondering what to do with leftover or scrap tin, contact local scrap metal dealers.