Tin metal anodes

What’s Tin Metal Anode

Tin metal anodes are used in electroplating. Tin metal anodic plating is a process in which a tin-plated film that can be soldered to the surface of material via an electric current is deposited. Tin electroplating is a very cost-effective process. Tin is readily available and much cheaper than metals such as gold, platinum, and palladium. Tin anodes are usually readily available in most quantities, including bulk, and can be resized according to customer specifications.

Electroplating with a tin metal anode

Electroplating with a tin metal anode immerses the tin anode and the metal part in an electrolyte solution. Then, an electric current is passed through the liquid. Tin is connected to a positively charged anode electrode, and a metal portion is connected to a negatively charged cathode electrode.
  • The tin is attracted to the cathode by the DC and dissolved in the electrolyte solution. The melted tin is reduced and attached to the metal part. Several types of electroplating processes can be used for tin anodes.
  • For delicate parts, vibrational plating is an expensive method of coating metal parts by placing the components in a basket containing metal buttons filled with electrolytes and vibrating the basket.
  • Barrel plating is used for smaller parts by rotating the barrel containing the electrolyte. It is the most cost-effective plating method.
  • Rack plating is used for large metal parts, where metal is hung on the rack and immersed in the electrolyte. This process is more expensive than barrel plating and less costly than vibration plating.


Tin metal anode applications include: Reduced friction: Tin is alloyed with lead and copper and coated on engine bearings. This tin coating allows the moving direction to slide easily with less friction. Bearing wear and damage can become a severe and sudden failure without a tin anode. Resistant to corrosion: In outdoor applications where environmental damage is high, tin plating can act as a sacrificial anode to protect metals from corrosion. The corrosive environment corrodes the tin plating first instead of attacking the metal. Improved electrical and thermal conductivity: When it is necessary to increase electrical or thermal conductivity, such as electronic components and semiconductors, tin is electroplated on the parts.    

Surface protection:

In the food manufacturing industry, tin is made non-toxic, so electroplating tin anodes on machine parts as a protective coating to prevent contamination. To improve thickness and uniformity of a surface: Depending on the application, the surface of a metal part may be uneven or too thin. By electroplating tin on the surface, the thickness can be made uniform without affecting the properties of the metal parts. Metal finish: In some applications, the tin anode is coated to enhance its appearance. Tin adds a soft and malleable finish to the part.  

Tin Metal Conclusion

The benefits of electroplating tin on other metal parts can be found in many applications and applications. Special consideration is required when determining the type of electrolyte, the number of layers of tin, and the application. In addition, manufacturers must decide whether to alloy tin with other metals such as lead, bismuth, silver, copper, zinc, or lead/copper in the electroplating deposition process.