Everyone has been to the doctor or dentist and seen their medical equipment. But do you know why the tools they use on patients are made from stainless steel?
The Benefits of Stainless Steel in the Medical Industry
Production of medical equipment and devices uses stainless steel for a myriad of reasons. It is such a durable material that comes with a host of benefits such as not being susceptible to corrosion, being quite fire-resistant, as well as being practically maintenance free in many situations. In healthcare it is additionally important that these tools are easy to clean and sanitize. So there is no risk of spreading bacteria or infections. Something made in a less resistant material might be prone to that.
No Corrosion Concerns Stainless Steel Medical Equipment
It is not the same thing as galvanized steel despite the fact that many people often interchange the two without really understanding the inherent differences. What gives galvanized steel its resistance to corrosion is the hot-dipping and coating it in zinc. Morover, this may offer some great qualities for a limited time. However, the layer can eventually scratch or wear which leaves the steel beneath quite vulnerable. In a hospital or other corrosive and infected environment, this may occur easily. Stainless steel, on the other hand, utilizes a molecular effect known as passivation. This causes the metal to self-heal when damaged.
Fire and Heat Resistance
Secondly, stainless can be quite impervious to the various hazards of flame and heat. This is important so there are no concerns of the tools and equipment failing. That can be a risk for patients and medical personnel. To avoid this, fire testings happen under specific conditions. So the steel is giving a rating that will in turn give an indication as to exactly how much protection is offered. It has inherent oxidation resistance as well as a high temperature strength that assist with this protection against fire.
Maintenance-free and Easy To Sanitize
Stainless steel does not exhibit any inherent anti-microbial properties like some other metals (copper) might have. Hence, you can easily clean it with sanitization solutions. So the hospital staff can rid the tool or surface of any contaminants. Medical equipment manufacturers can now provide a modern coating that is made up of micelles and applied during production to stainless steel. This process gives stainless steel a great resistance against bacteria, and it allows the material to sanitizes itself. This innovation is sure to find applications across an entire spectrum of medical tools and devices in the near future.
There are many options when it comes to producing tools and medical equipment. However, steel of the stainless variety has become practically ubiquitous in many areas due to the properties mentioned above. Most of these same reasons are why kitchen appliances and other equipment also utilize stainless steel. Stainless Structurals can produce special shapes and special stainless steel profiles in many grades of stainless for these applications. Our primary method of production for these types of products would be from our cold drawn or hot rolling lines. These products are available in 304/L, 316/L or other alloys. Contact us today for your stainless steel needs.