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Tin(IV) oxide, also known as stannic oxide, is the inorganic compound with the formula SnO2.
The mineral form of SnO2 is called cassiterite, and this is the main ore of tin.With many other names, this oxide of tin is an important material in tin chemistry. It is a colourless, dia- magnetic, amphoteric solid.
Tin(IV) oxide has long been used as an opacifier and as a white colorant in ceramic glazes. This has probably led to the discovery of the pigment lead-tin-yellow, which was produced using tin(IV) oxide as a compound.
The use of tin(IV) oxide has been particularly common in glazes for earthenware, sanitaryware and wall tiles; see the articles tin- glazing and Tin-glazed pottery.
Tin oxide remains in suspension in vitreous matrix of the fired glazes, and, with its high refractive index being sufficiently different from the matrix, light is scattered, and hence increases the opacity of the glaze. The degree of dissolution increases with the firing temperature, and hence the extent of opacity diminishes. Although dependent on the other con- stituents the solubility of tin oxide in glaze melts is generally low.
Its solubility is increased by Na2O, K2O and B2O3, and reduced by CaO, BaO, ZnO, Al2O3, and to a limited extent PbO.
SnO2 has been used as pigment in the manufacture of glasses, enamels and ceramic glazes. Pure SnO2gives a milky white colour; other colours are achieved when mixed with other metallic oxides e.g. V2O5yellow; Cr2O3 pink; and Sb2O5 grey blue.
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