Tin plating is the process of depositing a coating of solderable tin plating onto the surface of a material via an electrical current. Electroplating tin is an extremely cost-effective process. This is due to tin being so readily available and much less expensive than metals such as gold, platinum or palladium. Tinning is the process of thinly coating sheets of wrought iron or steel with tin, and the resulting product is known as tinplate. The term is also widely used for the different process of coating a metal with solder before soldering.
The advantages of tin plating include good corrosion resistance, ductility, and solderability. Because of its low transfer resistance it is also commonly used in electric and electronic industry. Under the tin coating a mid-layer of copper or nickel is used to prevent the mixing of base material and coating. Tin is normally easy to solder, but if problems appear in the solderability, it's a good idea first to check the adhesion of the base material, mid-layer, and tin. If the adhesion between different layers is not strong, the solderability can be impossible because the tin will run away. Naturally a long storing period or bad climate conditions will complicate soft soldering. For this reason the tin coating can also be passivated.