In honor of our hardworking healthcare professionals, today we’ll discuss the importance of steel in the medical industry. While Anderson Shumaker doesn’t make end-use medical components, we do forge many of the same steel grades the medical industry relies on for lifesaving tools and equipment. Let’s take a look into why steel is a top choice for healthcare needs worldwide.
Medical Industry Steel
Steel is one of the most commonly used materials in medical industry manufacturing. There are many reasons for this. For instance, steel offers:
- Cleanliness: The medical industry requires extremely high levels of sanitation. For example, equipment like hospital beds, wheelchairs, scrub sinks, and hazardous waste receptacles all use steel components. This is because steel is easy to clean and keep sterile, and sterile equipment is critical. Using easy-to-clean steel decreases the risk of spreading germs and infections, and helps protect patients and medical staff.
- Heat Resistance: Steels such as stainless steel do not alter or corrode when in contact with high temperatures. This heat resistance is critical during surgical procedures that use cauterization, and pre-and-post operating sterilization techniques. Steel can be cleaned with harsh chemicals or heated to extreme temperatures to ensure proper sanitization.
- Cost-Effective: Steel is very cost-effective. It is durable, long-lasting, and when its life-cycle ends, it can be easily and safely recycled. Because materials often have a 1-time use for patient and doctor safety, hospitals and medical professionals often need mass quantities of materials. This makes steel an excellent choice for overall use and material cost.
Stainless Steel Benefits
Stainless steel is one of the best choices for medical components worldwide. The material is non-porous, which means viruses and bacterial cannot penetrate its surface. It can be quickly and efficiently sanitized with antibacterial cleaners. Furthermore, it is durable enough to be cleaned with harsh chemicals and still last for years of use. Stainless steel is used for all types of equipment, from surgeon’s tools and operating equipment to nurse’s stations, needles, and stethoscopes.
The most common stainless steel grades used by the medial industry are:
- SAE 316 & 316L: Popular for biomedical and modification implants due to lower risk of allergic reaction (they can also be made nickel-free)
- SAE 440 & 420: Excellent choices for surgical cutting instruments due to high hardness and corrosion resistance
- 17-4: Top choice for general surgical and doctors instruments
- 304: Excellent choice for a variety of medical components due to strength, precision, natural anti-bacterial properties, high corrosion resistance, and reliability
We’re proud to forge in many of the same steel grades our healthcare professionals rely on each day to save lives worldwide. Contact us today if you’d like more information about any of the steel grades we forge. Stay healthy & stay safe!