Difference Between Tin and Aluminum


Main Difference

The main difference between Tin and Aluminum is that Tin is a lustrous gray-colored metal, whereas Aluminum is a silvery-white soft metal, exists abundantly in nature.

Tin vs. Aluminum

Tin is a rare metal considered as 49th most abundant element on earth. Aluminum is the most abundant metal. Tin is discovered earlier as compared to aluminum. The structure of the tin is three dimensional. Aluminum does not have a crystalline structure. Tin is a superconductor of heat and electricity. Aluminum allows heat and electricity to pass through it.

Tin is extracted from another compound. The electrolysis of compounds yields aluminum metal. Tin is a shiny gray metal. Aluminum is a silvery metal. Tin is a weak element used as its combination with other elements as an alloy makes it strong. Aluminum is a durable metal.


Tin has no specific biological role; it is non-toxic; some of its compounds are toxic. Aluminum is toxic for plants as lower their yield, in humans linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Tin is used as tin cans in the food and beverage industry.

Aluminum is used in making utensils, windows, mirrors, airplanes, and the aircraft industry. Tin is inexpensive than aluminum, but aluminum has replaced tin cans in industry. Tin is diamagnetic metal, whereas aluminum is a paramagnetic element. The tin utensils rub off easily during the cooking of acidic food. Aluminum is resistant to scratching during cooking.

Comparison Chart

Tin is high weight, shiny gray metal.Aluminum is a lightweight whitish shiny metal.
49th abundant metal3rd most abundant metal
GraySilvery white to gray
Atomic Number
Stable Oxidation State
+2, +4+3
From other compoundsFrom other elements in the dissolved state
Medical Uses
DentistrySurgical instruments making, dentistry
Plating of steel metalAerospace and automobiles industry
Rub off easily and become part of the foodDoes not rub off
Magnetic Properties

What is Tin?

Tin is a p-block element in the periodic table. Its atomic number is 50. It belongs to the 5th period that covers the 14th group. It exists as solid at 20 °C. Its melting point is 231 °C, and the boiling point is 2686 °C. It is denoted as Sn. It is a soft metal, transform into powder form when the temperature falls below 13 °C. Most of its presentation is in tin cans. These canes are made with steel, applied with a coating of tin. The valency of tin is +2 and +4, depends upon its compounds. Its primary isotope is Sn-120.

Tin is not a poisonous material; hence it plays not a specific biological role. It is an essential element for some organisms; plants can absorb it easily. Some of its compounds are poisonous. The uses of tin are widespread. It is a resistant metal, used as a coating for other elements to prevent it from corrosion. Some of the alloys of the tin include bronze, soft solder, and phosphor bronze. Some of its alloys are used as superconductor magnets.

When molten glass passes over the molten tin, it produces a flat surface; the technique is applied in window glass manufacturing. The salts of tin are used as sprays, produces electrically conductive coated material. Tin chloride is the most crucial salt od tin. The salt is used as a reducing agent and mordant for staining of silk. Its oxides are used in ceramics. Its compound with zinc is used as fire extinguishers in plastic.

What is Aluminum?

Aluminum is a p-block element in the periodic table. Its atomic number 13 belongs to the 3rd period and 13th group. Its chemical formula is Al. The atomic mass of aluminum is 26; its vital isotope is Al-27. It occurs in solid form at room temperature. Its melting point is 660°C and boils at 2519°C. Hans Oersted discovered aluminum at the start of19th century. The word aluminum derived from Latin literature “alumen,” meaning “bitter salt.” Aluminum has a silvery whitish appearance. It is a soft metal that can be drawn into sheets and wires. It exists in combined form.

There is no specific biological role of aluminum. However, its +3 state is harmful. The acidic soil makes its easy release from the minerals. The plants absorb aluminum, leads to lower productivity of crops. Processed cheese, tea, sponge cakes, lentils have more than an average amount of aluminum. Aluminum is linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Aluminum is widespread in its use, used as foils, window frames, kitchen wares, and airplane parts. Aluminum has a peculiar behavior.

It is not a toxic element, has low density, and can conduct electricity and heat. It is an anti-corrosive element utilized in the manufacture of machines. Aluminum forms alloys with other metals like copper, silicon, and magnesium that make it unique. Aluminum is a good conductor of electricity; it is cheaper than copper, used in electrical transmission wires. Aluminum is also used as a coating material; the coating is applicable in packages, toys, and telescope mirrors.

Key Differences

  1. Tin is a lustrous gray-colored metal; on the other hand, aluminum is a lightweight, lustrous silvery soft metal.
  2. Tin is organized in a crystalline structure, whereas the aluminum does not have a crystalline structure.
  3. Tin does not occur in abundance; it is a rare element, while aluminum is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust.
  4. Tin is the 49th abundant element on earth; on the flip side, aluminum is 3rd most abundant element in the earth’s crust.
  5. Tin is gray, whereas the color of aluminum is silvery white.
  6. Tin is denoted as Sn; on the other hand, aluminum is denoted as Al.
  7. Tin occupies the 50th position in the periodic table; conversely, aluminum occupies 13th position in the periodic table.
  8. Tin is stable in +2 and +4 oxidation state, while the stable oxidation state of aluminum is +3.
  9. Tin was discovered earlier; on the other hand, the discovery of aluminum is late.
  10. Tin is extracted from other compounds, whereas the extraction of aluminum is from electrolytic processes.
  11. Tin is a superconductor, conversely aluminum, a good conductor of electricity.
  12. Tin is used in dentistry; on the flip side, the medical usage of aluminum are surgical instrumentation and dentistry.
  13. Tin is a weak element; to make it reliable, it is alloyed with other elements; conversely, aluminum is a strong element.
  14. Tin is cheap; on the other hand, aluminum is expensive than tin.
  15. Tin is an element used for the plating of steel material; conversely, aluminum is used in the aerospace industry.
  16. Tin foils are scratched easily and become a part of the food, while aluminum foils are resistant to rub off.
  17. Tin has no attraction for the magnet; on the flip side, aluminum has a weak attraction for a magnet.


Tin and Aluminum are both lustrous soft metals. Tin is a gray shiny rare metal that exists in a combined state. Aluminum is a silvery-white, lustrous metal, exist in both combined and uncombined state.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss