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Removing Tin Coating from Brass

Q. Is there any way to remove Tin Coating from Base Metal? The base metal is Brass.

Saket Gupta
- Yamuna Nagar, Haryana, India

A. Yes. Either use an anodic electrolytic alkaline stripper (10% NaOH 25 °C) or a chemical dip. The chemical dip can be either 50 g/l in 100 ml/l H2SO4 or 80 g/l FeCl3 in 156 ml/l glacial acetic acid [on eBay or Amazon] with 125 g/l copper sulphate. The ferric chloride [on eBay or Amazon] solution will leave the brass clean once all the tin has been removed, so long as the parts are removed immediately after all the tin has gone. Alternatively you can use 5% H2SO4 with 10% H2O2, but this will dissolve almost any metal!

trevor crichton
Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK

Q. Can it be economically feasible to recover tin in a process to remove tin from brass? If so, how can I do that?

Fabricio Mendoza
- Monterrey, NL, Mexico
May 20, 2013

A. Hi Fabricio. Tin is not a semi-precious metal, but it is the most costly base metal, say 10x more expensive than zinc and about 3x as costly as copper. So recovery is possible; in fact, my very first job interview was with a corporation whose business was recovery of tin from scrap. Yet it still may be impractical for you depending on your situation; please give us some clues because we don't know if you are working in a refinery or in a plating shop, or if you are a scrapper with just a few pounds of copper. Thanks!


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
May 23, 2013

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