Difference Between Tin and Aluminum (With Table)

Tin and Aluminum are two of the most important metals that humans use every day for various reasons. Before the time when aluminum foil was invented, the common man used tin foil. While aluminum is found under the surface of the earth in abundance, tin is found rarely in a few places. Both these metals are kind of similar in their appearance but they differ in their chemical and physical properties.

Tin v/s Aluminum

The main difference between Tin and Aluminum is that Tin is a very rarely found metal with atomic number 50 in a silvery grey color while; aluminum has atomic number 13 found in great quantity in silvery-white color. Due to aluminum being a stronger metal than tin, it has replaced tin in many applications.

Tin is an element found in the 14th group of the periodic table and belongs to the carbon family. It has silvery grey color with a hint of blue shade. The origin of tin is somewhat lost in ancient times but bronzes, which are the alloy of copper and tin were largely used in the prehistoric age long in the time when pure tin was not discovered.

On the other hand, aluminum is a lightweight metal of the 13th group in the periodic table. This metallic element is found in great quantity in the crust of Earth’s surface and is largely used as a nonferrous metal. Aluminum is never found in its metallic form but its essence is found in almost everything in nature.

Comparison Table Between Tin and Aluminum

Parameters of Comparison 




Tin is represented by the symbol Sn in the periodic table.

Aluminum is represented by the symbol Al in the periodic table.

Atomic number 

Tin has the atomic number 50.

Aluminum has the atomic number 13.


Silvery grey with a bluish shade.

Silvery white.

Oxidation state 

The most stable oxidation state is +2 and +4.

The most stable oxidation state is +3.

Melting point 

Tin melts at a melting point of 231.93°C.

Aluminum melts at a melting point of 660.32°C.

What is Tin?

Tin is a metallic element that is very soft to touch, silvery grey, and light in weight. Because tin is a very soft metal, it is very rarely used in its original state. Tin is mostly combined with several other metallic elements for making alloys that carries all the beneficial properties of tin such as low toxicity level with great corrosion resistance.

Tin is also very versatile as it can be shaped in anything without breaking and can be stretched without tearing. Tin is represented by the Sn with atomic number 50 and falls under the post-transition category with a melting point of 231.9°C. Tin is mostly obtained from the mineral named Cassiterite which contains up to 80% of tin.

In the riverbeds of alluvial deposits, tin is found in the majority which is due to the erosion of ores that contains the metal. The alloys of tin have been used since many centuries back. Bronze is one of the alloys of tin made by combining copper which was widely used in creating artifacts such as mirrors, sickles, hatches, etc, in the areas in China and Egypt. Tin was also combined with lead to alloy and make pots, cups, kettles, plates, etc. During the mid of 19th and 20th centuries, tin-plated toys were greatly in demand because of their quality.

What is Aluminum?

Aluminum is a chemical element present in the 13th group of the periodic table with silvery-white color. It is the only metal that has widespread the most covering 8% of the Earth’s core mass and ranks third in the list of most common chemical elements found on our planet after oxygen and silicon. As aluminum can easily get combined and mixed up with other elements, the pure form of aluminum is not found in nature.

In the year 1824, aluminum was created for the very first time but it took half a century more to learn about its production on an industrial range. Aluminum sulfates are a form of aluminum that is found the most in nature and is widely used even today while cooking, cleaning water, medicines, and other sectors. Aluminum can be worked within any state, be it cold or hot, it can be easily rolled, stretched, or shaped. It does not catch fire, does not need special paint for protection, and is non-toxic.

Its highly adaptable features provide extra thin wire which is 3x thinner than a hair and is very cost-effective. Since it easily gets alloyed, there are numerous alloys developed that we use in our ordinary life. Without aluminum, the construction of the modern world would never be possible as it is found in almost everything.

Main Differences Between Tin and Aluminum 

  1. Tin is an element of the 14th group of the periodic table, whereas aluminum is an element of the 13th group.
  2. Tin is represented by Sn which is taken from its Latin name “stannum”, whereas Aluminum is represented by Al.
  3. The atomic number of tin is 50, whereas 13 is the atomic number of aluminum.
  4. Tin is found in very few locations across the globe, whereas aluminum is found almost everywhere.
  5. Tin is a bad conductor of heat and electricity, whereas aluminum is a good conductor of heat and electricity.
  6. Tin is used to make artifacts like pots, cups, pieces of jewelry, whereas aluminum is used in almost everything. 


In conclusion, Tin and Aluminum are the chemical elements of the 14th and 13th groups of the p section of the periodic table. These elements possess similar appearance but they are differentiated based on their chemical and physical properties. Aluminum has the atomic number 13 and is represented by Al which is abbreviated from its Latin name Alumen, whereas Tin is presented by Sn taken from the word stannum which is its Latin name and has 50 as its atomic number.

These are found in the crust of Earth where aluminium is found in abundance but tin is rarely found. Due to some specific properties like non-toxic and resistance to heat, aluminum is used anywhere and tin is restricted to a few things and is rarely used today.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921509311012354
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14786442608633651