Each year in Britain about 85,000 operations are performed to insert a metal tubular device called a stent. A stent is a scaffold used to alleviate vascular conditions by expanding narrowed or blocked arteries. The condition of the stent is vital within the medical sector because it can be inserted into arteries to restore blood flow. The most widely used material for stents is a high purity 316L grade (1.4404) of stainless steel.
This particular grade is extremely corrosion resistant and does not deteriorate once inside the body. Stainless steel is used in a wide variety of medical applications due to its resistance to bodily fluids along with its hygienic properties. Stents are electropolished to achieve a smooth surface which is essential in improving their performance by reducing the likelihood of producing a blood clot. This is a vital feature in this life saving application.