What Is a Tin Cylinder?

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A tin cylinder is a type of cylindrical container, usually with a lid or closure. It is a common way to package and distribute products, such as soap or snacks. Designed for a long shelf life, it has become an important part of the world’s packaging industry.

Tin is a low-melting crystalline metallic element extracted from the mineral cassiterite (SnO2). It is a very rare metal, making up only about 2 parts per million in the Earth’s crust.

Originally, tin was used to coat steel for cans, but in the 20th century, aluminum surpassed tin in popularity. Nevertheless, tin continues to be a critical material in the packaging of products for various purposes, as it is highly corrosion-resistant and is relatively inexpensive.

The shape of a tin can is determined by the contents. The most common is a parallel round top and bottom with vertical cylindrical sides, but some content types may be best suited for a slightly conical can. In other cases, a can may have a slightly oval or rounded-corner rectangle for certain types of food.

For a three-piece construction, the flat surface of the top or base piece is joined to the wall of the can by a rim; this join serves to open the can. A rimless can, a rarer construction, has a single flat surface with a hole to fill it; this is sealed by quickly solidifying a drop of molten solder.

A tin cylinder can be made from many different materials and is produced in different sizes, shapes, colors and finishes. The most common are round, with screw-on or off-and-on lids. These are available in food grade quality and can be custom-printed to fit any application or brand image.