I am trying to find information about the details of mechanical properties of tin-base alloys, such as ~8% antimony Brittanica. But probably since tin is use primarily in decorative applications or as solder, I have failed to find detailed material properties like you would easily find for more common engineering materials.

Specifically, I am interested in fatigue limits as function of the number of cycles, and the effect of casting temperature and cooling rates on material properties.

All I have been able to find is that Brittanica has around a 100MPa yield strength. Does anyone have a more extensive reference?

  • $\begingroup$ Would this depend on someone needing to use said materials in a cyclic situation? If they have not been used in such a situation why would someone go to the effort of testing them? $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ You could have said the same thing about iron a few thousand years ago I suppose... $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 10:51
  • $\begingroup$ But people continued to use iron and worked out what worked and what did not - as I said why test it if the results are not directly useful to what they are looking for? While you want the results, and would like to benefit from others work, if all else fails then you will have to do the testing if the results are critical to your problem / analysis / project... $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 10:54
  • $\begingroup$ Testing to 100M cycles is quite a feat to pull off in your basement; especially considering the many variables that may influence fatigue strength. I was hoping to be able to stand on the shoulders of the general curiosity of mankind on this; but perhaps to no avail. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 11:02

1 Answer 1


Physical properties are not generally available because tin is not used in stressed applications. Accordingly, likely no one has measured fatigue properties, etc. Tin is used for bearings , certain solders and coating steel containers. It is also very expensive. I see Britannica ( pewter) also has 3 % Cu and was used for eating utensils about 100 years ago. However , for what it may be worth; American Society for Metals , 1948 Handbook has a few pages on properties and uses of tin up to WW 2.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I am looking for the most effective casting metal for making custom 3d printed lugs for an electric bike truss frame. Its very little material so bulk cost is no objection; and at half the yield strength of a 6061 tube that can be designed around as well. The obvious advantage of tin is the ease of working with it and getting a good cast without bubbles or other defects; but if the fatigue strength is as bad as i have seen suggested in places that might be a dealbreaker. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 11:07
  • $\begingroup$ A quick look at zinc shows roughly 5 X the strength of Sn . Zn can be statically cast about as easily as Sn. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 19:55
  • $\begingroup$ Using typical zinc alloys id expect to realize maybe twice the yield strength of Britannica using home casting techniques; but also needing twice the temp in Celcius, which greatly limits the number of available mould making / casting techniques. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 20:34

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