Tools and medical equipment can be produced in many ways. The most preferred material by hospitals worldwide is stainless steel because of its certain extraordinary properties. For a long time, stainless steel has been playing a very important role in the medical industry in places like crucial surgeries, biomedical implants, a surgical operations. It is very important that these steels are highly safe because it comes in contact with the human body and its compounds. It is also necessary that it is greatly resistant to a high level of stringent acids that are involved in cleaning and sterilization. People have seen the medical equipment that is used by doctors and dentists when they visit them. Stainless steel is the material that is used majorly in medical equipment, be it surgical or non-surgical, and in body implants. One of the most common uses of stainless steel in the medical industries is the hospital bed which can be seen in all the wards in a hospital.
Some other uses of stainless steel are:
- Wheelchairs, walkers, IV stands
- Surgical equipment such as scalpels
- Orthopedic implants (predominantly 316/ 316L)
- Bone fixation
- Artificial heart valves (predominantly 316/316L)
- Specialty guide wires, curettes, screws/ prostheses/ plates, medical needles
- Medical syringes
- Chemical containers/ hazardous waste containers
- Sinks/ bowls/ surfaces/ trays/ knives
Do you know why the tools and equipment used on patients are made of stainless steel?
There are many reasons why stainless steel is used in medical equipment and tools. Stainless steel is a very durable material. It comes with a list of benefits like, not being prone to corrosion, having fire-resistant properties, and in almost all situations, it is maintenance-free. These medical tools should be easy to clean and sanitize, especially in the healthcare industry. This is because it prevents the spread of bacteria and infections. If something that has fewer resistance properties is used to make these tools and equipment, then the chances are higher than the tools are vulnerable to spreading bacteria and infections.
After using the equipment over a period of time, it gets prone to scratches or it wears off leaving the steel beneath the layer very vulnerable. Since in a hospital, the environment is quite corrosive because of the materials used for cleansing and sanitizing purposes, this wearing down of the topmost layer is common. To avoid these situations from happening, stainless steel uses something called passivation, which is a molecular effect. After this process, the metal is capable of self-healing if and when it gets damaged.
Stainless steel can also be impermeable to the different dangers of flame and heat. This point is very important because if the tools and equipment fail, it could be risky for the patients and the medical specialists. With oxidation resistance and high temperature strength properties, helps stainless steel stay protected from fire.
Anti-microbial properties are not something that stainless steel possesses. This is the reason why it is easy to clean stainless steel with sanitization solutions, hence getting rid of contaminants on the surface of the equipment used.
A modern coating made up of micelles is provided by the manufacturers and applied when stainless steel is under production. Because of this coating, stainless steel is protected from bacteria, and it also sanitizes itself. This innovation will touch boundaries in the field of medical equipment and tools.
Even though there are various options available for the production of tools and equipment, stainless steel is the most preferred choice, as visible from the properties that are mentioned above.
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