This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
Very hard. Tin, 16 parts; antimony, 1 part; zinc, 1 part.
Softer than the former. Tin, 8 parts; zinc, 1 part; antimony, 1 part.
Very hard. Tin, 12 parts; antimony, 2 parts; copper, 1 part.
Tin, 10 parts; antimony, 1 part; cadmium, 1 part.
Tin is one of those metals which is not at all susceptible to the action of acids, while lead, on the other hand, is very easily attacked by them. In such alloys, consequently, used for cooking utensils, the amount of lead must be limited, and should properly not exceed 10 or 15 per cent; but cases have been known in which the so-called tin contained a third part, by weight, of lead.
Alloys containing from 10 to 15 per cent of lead have a beautiful white color, are considerably harder than pure tin, and much cheaper. Many alloys of tin and lead are very lustrous, and are used for stage jewelry and mirrors for reflecting the light of lamps, etc. An especially brilliant alloy is called "Fahlun brilliants." It is used for stage jewelry, and consists of 29 parts of tin and 19 of lead. It is poured into molds faceted in the same way as diamonds, and when seen by artificial light, the effect is that of diamonds. Other alloys of tin and lead are employed in the manufacture, of toys. These must fill the molds well, and must also be cheap, and therefore as much as 50 per cent of lead is used. Toys can also be made from type metal, which is even cheaper than the alloys of tin and lead, but has the disadvantage of readily breaking if the articles are sharply bent. The alloys of tin and lead give very good castings, if sharp iron or brass molds are used.
Lead............... 19 parts
Tin................ 29 parts
This alloy is very bright and possesses a permanent sheen. It is well adapted for the making of artificial gems for stage use. It is customary in carrying out the process to start with two parts of tin and one part of lead. Tin is added until a sample drop which is allowed to fall upon an iron plate forms a mirror. The artificial gems are produced by dipping into the molten alloy pieces of glass cut to the proper shape. The tin coating of metal which adheres to the glass cools rapidly and adheres tenaciously. Outwardly these artificial gems appear rough and gray, but inwardly they are highly reflective and quite deceptive when seen in artificial light.
If the reflective surfaces be coated with red, blue, or green aniline, various colored effects can be obtained. Instead of fragile glass the gems may be produced by means of well-polished pieces of steel or bronze.