Stainless Steel - 100 Not Out!100 years of Stainless Steel
BSSA

2013 marks 100 years since stainless steel was discovered in Sheffield. The BSSA have selected 50 applications and features that demonstrate how stainless steel has influenced our lives so far.

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Operation Stainless

Surgical Scissors

Surgical Scissors

(Courtesy of Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust)

Scalpels

Scalpels

(Courtesy of Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust)

The medical profession is extremely innovative, especially in the field of medical equipment and tools.  Stainless steel has played a major role in the development of implants, surgical instruments, medical aids and operating theatre equipment.  The advantages of stainless steel are that it can be easily cleaned, disinfected and sterilised in order to remove soiling and microbial contamination and resist biofilm formation (only on the best surface finishes).

The requirement to be strong and maintain a cutting edge and to be suitable for shaping, cutting, forming and welding are also the qualities that are sought after by the clinical technologists, engineers and surgeons.  Last but not least is the resistance to corrosion. The internal environment of the human body and cleaning sterilisation processes are very aggressive.

Martensitic grades are used for high quality cutting edges. For general medical/surgical applications, the standard 304 (1.4301) and 316 (1.4401) austenitic grades are used. This industry is open to all suitable materials such as plastics, ceramics and indeed other steels and alloys but the mainstay of the industry is still stainless steel.

Find out more about the 100 Not Out! campaign
 

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British Stainless Steel, Broomgrove, 59 Clarkehouse Road, Sheffield S1 2LE
Tel: +44 (0)114 267 1260     Fax: +44 (0)114 266 1252     Email: enquiry@bssa.org.uk

British Stainless Steel Association (BSSA): registered in England and Wales as a private company limited by guarantee; registration no. 07547349