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The Evolution of Tinplate

During World War I, the primary concern for wartime rations was their ability to withstand the losses incurred from prolonged transportation and storage. Glass containers, while transparent, could cause food to deteriorate due to light exposure. Aluminum cans, though lightweight and easy to process, were prone to deformation due to their softness, making them unsuitable for use (the neurotoxicity of aluminum was not yet discovered at that time). Pure iron cans, on the other hand, were susceptible to oxidation and rust in humid air, significantly increasing transportation costs. As a result, tin-plated tinplate emerged as the optimal choice for canning.

Tinplate was not widely used until after World War I, but it was not a new concept. In fact, as early as the 14th century, Bohemia in Central Europe had already begun producing and using tinplate. It was discovered that this tin-plated iron, while retaining the formability of steel, also incorporated the corrosion-resistant and aesthetic properties of tin metal, making it durable, strong, and malleable. The term “tinplate” in Chinese originated from the fact that the tin-plated thin sheets used for canning were imported from Macao (English name Macao), hence the name "tinplate".



Under current standards, tinplate (electroplated tin thin sheet) is extensively used in experimental coating performance tests (such as bending, impact, hardness, gloss, salt spray resistance, weather resistance, etc.). The coating performance of a product is a crucial quality indicator. When conducting inspections and tests on coating products, the quality of the test tinplate is a significant factor influencing the test results, in addition to the quality requirements of the test process and samples.

Firstly, if the tin plating on the tinplate does not meet the standard (either too much or too little), it can affect the corrosion resistance of the tinplate and the adhesion of the coating to the iron plate. Secondly, during coating performance tests such as impact and bending tests, the thickness of the tinplate can directly affect its physical properties. Lastly, if the surface treatment of the tinplate is substandard and the surface is not smooth, it can directly impact hardness testing, gloss testing, etc. Moreover, tinplate with rough edges can potentially injure the tester, posing a safety risk. Therefore, purchasing and using tinplate that complies with national standards is a crucial aspect that should be given due attention during the testing process.

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