Hardened stainless steel in medical technology

In medical technology, the selection of the appropriate material for surgical instruments plays a very important role. In this area of use, high demands are made of the employed materials and their durability. Key factors affecting the suitability of a materiel include chemical resistance, abrasion-resistance of the surface and aseptic properties.

medical technology

Stainless steel is, in principle, good for environments in which high hygienic standards must be upheld. Absolute hygiene is necessary in the medical sector when it comes to equipment, appliances and their construction materials. The permanent resistance of surfaces to mechanical loads and treatment with cleaning agents and disinfects is a prerequisite that must be ensured before stainless steel can be used in medical technology. The quality of the surface is a decisive factor in its subsequent use. Scratched or rough surfaces are unacceptable since these invite germs.Generally speaking, the greater the surface hardness of a material, the more robust the material is when it comes to mechanical loads. Alongside resistance to abrasive loads, resistance to corrosion processes is also important in order to prevent damages to the material. The majority of stainless steel varieties have only a slight resistance to corrosion and mechanical loads. In many cases, this can be improved by the BORINOX® hardening procedure. This procedure was developed specifically to harden stainless steels with high chrome and nickel content and thus protect these from wear. It helps to create medical technology products that are more durable and more cost-effective to produce.

In which areas can BORINOX® be used?

The potential uses of hardened stainless steel in medical technology are many and range from clamps, blades, knives and cutting tools through to grinding tools and instruments for minimally invasive surgery. The BORINOX® procedure ensures an increase in the hardness of the surface whilst maintaining good corrosion properties.

How does hardening stainless steel help?

When using the BORINOX® procedure the positive properties of previously used materials are retained in full. No substitution of the materials used is required. The hardening of the surface may significantly extend the lifetime of the used parts when stressed by abrasion, adhesion, oxidative wear, erosion wear or cavitation.

These materials can be cured with the BORINOX® procedure

Austenitic steels such as 1.4401 (AISI 316) and 1.4404 (AISI 316L) are frequently used in medical technology. For blades, scrapers and grinding tools, material such as 17-4 PH which can be martensitic hardened may also be used. Both groups of materials are particularly well-suited to treatment with the BORINOX® procedure.