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Identifying Tin

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    CAS started this thread.
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    Identifying Tin

    Does anyone know how to tell the difference between steel and tin? The only thing I read is that tin doesn't rust and that tin bars make a cracking sound when bent. Is there any other easy way to tell the differnece?



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    CAS started this thread.
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    I read that tin doesn't give off sparks when grinding and steel does. I guess using a grinding wheel would be the best way to check.

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    well mad my first trip today and i had the metal panels from a dryer and they classified it as tin? if that helps any

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    I think in some/most instances "tin" is being used to refer to what should actually be called "light iron" (less than 1/8"). Tin is a chemical usually used to coat another metal such as steel which results in what is called a tin can. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any example of pure tin.

    (on edit) - DUH - Tin foil.
    Last edited by Mick; 10-18-2010 at 09:04 PM. Reason: thought of example
    People may laugh at me, but that's ok. I laugh all the way to the bank.

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    Seems like no matter what we take in we get tin prices. Unless we have a full load of cast iron, then we get the cast iron price.

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    That's usual. A "mixed" load will all get the price of the lowest material in the load applied to the entire load - usually Light Iron (tin). I saw a load come across the scales where I go that I just couldn't believe. There were several batteries (should have been .16/lb) about 8-10 radiators (unprepared) a BUNCH of copper wire (insulated), brake hubs (#1 iron); but it all went as Light Iron (.08 lb) cause of probably 100 lbs. The guys in the pickup didn't want to take the time and effort to unload and weigh the stuff separately. I about croaked.

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    Ouch, those guys just lost some big money. I have a pile of insulated wire sitting in shed that I strip when I get time. No matter how small the wire is, I cut it and toss it into the pile.

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    CAS started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick View Post
    That's usual. A "mixed" load will all get the price of the lowest material in the load applied to the entire load - usually Light Iron (tin). I saw a load come across the scales where I go that I just couldn't believe. There were several batteries (should have been .16/lb) about 8-10 radiators (unprepared) a BUNCH of copper wire (insulated), brake hubs (#1 iron); but it all went as Light Iron (.08 lb) cause of probably 100 lbs. The guys in the pickup didn't want to take the time and effort to unload and weigh the stuff separately. I about croaked.
    That kills me when people do that. I want to yell at them, "Do you know how much money you're losing that way?!?!

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    Things that make ya go HHHMMMMM...:confused::confused::confused:

    On the topic of the question however, I believe Mick is right. I have never referred to my light stuff as "light Iron" I refer to it as "tin" or "sheet metal".

    It does work here that they will eyeball your load however and if you have tin and steel mixed, you will get a "mixed tin" load and it will be called in as a percentage based on the guy in the yards perspective. It is good to be on his good side

    So if you take in somewhat of a mixed load you will not just get hammered for the lowest price "tin"

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    (on edit) - DUH - Tin foil.
    Uh, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't what's commonly referred to as tinfoil (I wear a hat made of it, to keep the men in the black helicopters from reading my mind, but I digress...), anyway, isn't it really aluminum foil?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ditchdigger View Post
    Uh, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't what's commonly referred to as tinfoil (I wear a hat made of it, to keep the men in the black helicopters from reading my mind, but I digress...), anyway, isn't it really aluminum foil?
    Touche. Although there technically is "tin foil" which is used to coat other metals. But, yes, the commonly known is aluminum (insert bashing head smilie). So I still need to come up with an example.

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    Yeah. Tin and Iron are two different elements completely, and tin is actually quite expensive. If you really want to get scientific, tin is a lead like metal, and therefore is used in lead-free solders.

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    I think any tin i find gets thrown in with aluminum. I can't tell them apart. Or zinc.

    SS seems a little easier to sort out - they have a more 'machined' look with little score lines, and seem heavier for their size then Al.

    I should probably get a grinder and try some spark tests.

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    Yes, spark test. Not all "stainless" with marks is actually stainless...some of it is sheet aluminum. Zinc nets me more at my yard than cast aluminum. And.....the price tin is about 3 or 4 times better than aluminum. It is worth learning the difference. In the scrapping world, knowledge is king. Those who take the time to learn will earn more money. If you don't take the time to learn, someone else will and will laugh all the way to the bank. (I know that is someone's tag line...it definitely applies here!)

    Ken

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    OK, I'm sold, Mudlucky. My Non-Ferrous White Metals bins will have to sit until i can sort it all out.

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    Jillyenator - an angle grinder will become one of your most used tools. Not only used to separate and clean up metals, but will also help to differentiate stainless from aluminum with a spark test, and also to identify plated metals. Brass and copper are sometimes plated with a white surface, and aluminum is often plated with a brass colored surface. It will pay for itself many times over in time saved and identifying metals that might get misclassified.

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    I use a Dremel tool with a cut-off wheel to spark test. Up to this point, I don't have any use for an angle grinder, so no use running out to get one. Just don't buy the Chicago Electric knock-off from Harbor Fright (pun intended), it doesn't have enough "oomph" to use for spark testing. Besides, the one I had died after six months, so instead of getting a free replacement I bought the Dremel at Walmart.

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    I use a 4 1/2" angle grinder from harbor frieght all the time and I'm sure it has more oomph than a dremel tool.

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    I don't know why a lot of the scrap yards refer to light iron/steel as "tin". I doubt there is much tin in that classification at all? I have been giving my light iron/steel buyer a hard time with this. Couple of weeks ago I intently collected all the tin cans from my house, had two trash cans full carefully cleaned and labels all removed. I put two trash cans of tin cans on top of my 900+ pounds of light iron/steel. Told the forklift driver go put it on the scale, (driver says boss be mad). Three minutes or less, the boss (Eddie) "Burt are you messy with my head" over the PA. I get to office to get paid, the girl gives me my receipt and cash for the load. She says now Eddie says for me to give you a "bonus", both hands please! Dumping a pile of the oldest, dirtiest, pennies in my hands, that's for the tin cans. Tell him I want to see him, (he wants to see you too!). What's with the food cans? he says. Me to him "You want to call light Iron/steel (#2 tin) I'm going to bring you tin (cans)". Take them home with you he said. I told him I will, if you sell me your computer towers. I asked what do you pay for them? Get this board price #2 tin ($.03 to $.04 a pound). At lease they have tin in them (solder)!

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    It seems like using a magnet to identify iron / steel would be easier and a lot faster than grinding it with a grinder.

    Aluminum, tin and most other metals are not magnetic.

    True Tin is really expensive. I think it is currently running around $10 a pound.


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