Stainless Steels: A Family of Materials for Medical Devices

Article by Tony Newson, AvestaPolarit (This article first appeared in Business Briefing: Medical Device Manufacturing & Technology 2002, published by World Markets Research Centre, London www.wmrc.com). The application of austenitic, martensitic and precipitation hardening stainless steel types in medical implant and dental and surgical instruments is discussed. The special implant grades to ISO 5832 are compared to more commonly recognisable ISO 7153-1 instrument grades, used where body contact is only transient. A comparison of electropolished and mechanically polished finishes for stainless steel medical devices is made. The reusability and recycling issues are discussed in relation to single use instruments where the spread of infection is a possible risk.

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