Already in the IV Millennium BC humanity learned of the existence of tin in nature. At all times the metal was very dear to him due to an inaccessibility. In this connection, mention is rarely found in ancient Greek and Roman written sources.
The Tin together with a copper acts as a component of tin bronze. It was invented in the middle or the end of the III Millennium BC. Since bronze was considered in ancient times the most durable of all alloys known to man, tin was considered a strategic metal. This attitude persisted for over 2 thousand years.
The largest pools are located in Southeast Asia and China. Fairly extensive deposits have been discovered in Australia and South America (Peru, Brazil, Bolivia). In Russia the fields are located in the Khabarovsk territory, Solar area (sable and Festival), Verkhnebureinsky district (Pravourmiyskoe). In addition, discovered deposits in Chukotka. Here are Pirkkalaistie stockworks, village/mine Val'kumey, Iultin. Their development was closed in 90-e years. Tin deposits are also in seaside CR., in the Kavalerovsky district in Yakutia (the Deputy) and other regions.
In 1910, captain R. Scott – Arctic Explorer from England – organized the expedition. Her goal was the South pole. At that time in this area people have not been. The expedition took many months. The travelers walked through the vast expanses of the Arctic continent. Along the way, they left a small storage of food and kerosene. By early 1912 the expedition reached the pole. However, to the great disappointment of travellers, they found a note which said that a month earlier it was visited by Roald Amundsen,. However, this was not the main problem. On the way back at the first warehouse, Scott's team found that the capacity, which was kerosene, was empty. Frozen, tired men could not keep warm or to cook food. Having with great difficulty to the next warehouse, they found that there canisters are empty. With no more strength to resist the cold, all the members of the expedition died.
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In the late nineteenth century from the Netherlands to Russia went the train. In it were tin bars. In Moscow, the cars were opened. Instead of bars recipients saw useless grey powder. Around the same time in Siberia was sent the expedition. It was well kitted out. The organizers of the expedition have provided many details to extreme cold did not stop the journey. However, one mistake was allowed. The travelers took with them the utensils from tin. Soon at the first frost it crumbled to powder. Travelers were forced to carve utensils from wood. At the beginning of the XX century in St. Petersburg at one of the warehouses there was a scandal. The audit revealed that all the uniforms disappeared buttons. Instead, the boxes were only a gray powder. He was sent to the lab. At the conclusion of the researchers struck the metal tin plague. According to some historians, as one of the circumstances that influenced the defeat of the French army in the winter of 1812, is the disappearance of buttons from the uniforms of soldiers.
In all the cases described above took place the phenomenon of tin plague. What is it? In 1868, academician of Fritsche presented the report at a meeting of the St. Petersburg Academy. In it he talked about how in railway structure was discovered powder instead of tin bars, like the scattered buttons in a military warehouse. After his speech in the Academy has come a huge number of similar messages. They all came from different parts of Europe, and some – even from North America. It is worth saying that in the middle Ages ignorant churchmen believed that tin plague – impact on the metal there are dark forces that cause witches. Many innocent women were burned at the stake. But with the rapid development of science and the absurdity of these claims became more and more obvious. However, to explain how there is tin plague that it is, scientists could not for a long time. Research intensified after the death of team Scott. The fact that the cans, which was kerosene, was soldered with tin. The metal turned to powder and the liquid drains.
Only after using the x-ray analysis scientists have been able to explain how there is tin plague. This phenomenon is due to the specific metal structure. X-ray analysis allowed us to look inside objects, to study their crystalline structure. The result was formulated scientific explanation of the phenomenon. The researchers found that any metal can have different crystalline forms. The most stable modification at normal (ambient) or elevated temperature is tin. This metal is tough and ductile. If the temperature drops below 13 degrees, the crystal lattice beginsto rebuild. The atoms are arranged in space at a greater distance. A new modification of metal – grey tin. It loses its original properties. In fact, the metal ceases to be and becomes a semiconductor. At sites of contact between different crystal lattices arise internal stress. They lead to cracking of the structure. As a result, the metal crumbles into powder. So there is tin plague.
I Should say that tin plague, a photo of which is presented in the article, is spreading fairly quickly (almost like an epidemic in humans). The transition from one modification to another the sooner, the lower the ambient temperature. Its maximum rate of conversion reaches at -33 degrees. That is why frost is so quickly dealt with all products. At the same tin plague goes from "sick" objects to "healthy". This phenomenon has killed many valuable collections of toy soldiers. For example, dozens of figures turned into powder in the archives of the Museum Suvorov in Saint-Petersburg. It happened from the fact that one winter in the basement burst battery.
Scientists have long sought a way to prevent "disease" of metal. The way out found the British Guild of producers. They have created a new alloy. The tin joined a metal stabilizing its unstable properties. New alloy called "computer". It includes 95% tin, 2% copper and 5% antimony. The computer is used in the manufacture of jewelry, household items, glassware, etc. Is to say that a well-known America's Cup, as well as figurines "Oscar" made of the computer, and then covered with silver and gold plating. So they are not afraid of no tin plague.
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Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
"Hi, I'm Alin Trodden. I write texts, read books, and look for impressions. And I'm not bad at telling you about it. I am always happy to participate in interesting projects."
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