Owing to its non-toxic nature and its resistance to atmospheric corrosion tin has been used for many years as a coating on other metals, particularly for cooking vessels and other articles used in contact with food. Tinplate is mild steel sheet which has been coated on both faces with tin, and it is this material which is today used on a very large scale for the production of a great variety of containers for foodstuffs and other products. Current annual world production of tinplate is of the order of 14 million tonnes, accounting for nearly half of the tin consumed, and while this material was originally produced by ‘hot dipping’, i.e. by immersing steel sheets in molten tin, more than 90% is now made by electrodepostition in a continuous process. The thickness of the tin coating is usually less than 0.0025mm but the properties of the tinplate depend very largely on the amont of tin present, so that the main analytical requirement in the examination of tinplate is a determination of the tin coating thickness.
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