3 Benefits of Stainless Steel for Medical


Doctors, nurses, and many others in the medical field require reliable medical equipment made out of the proper materials for maximum effectiveness. Stainless steel is one of the most commonly used metals in medical industries, with other popular options including aluminum, titanium, and cobalt chrome.

In the medical industry, a specific type of stainless steel is used to manufacture equipment: surgical steel. This is a type of stainless steel that can vary in its makeup, but always has high levels of corrosion resistance due to the addition of molybdenum. Surgical steel can contain a range of 13-30% chromium, but usually contains approximately 18-20%.

In this article, we’ll discuss more about where the medical industry uses surgical steel and three of the benefits of this superior metal.

How the Medical Industry Uses Steel

Take a look around a hospital, and the usage of surgical steel for medical care can be seen everywhere. Hospital beds are made of steel because they need to be properly sanitized. Many different patients use the same bed, some who are treated for infectious diseases or open wounds. The medical staff cannot risk passing germs between each user. 

Medical-grade steel ensures that each patient can be safely treated due to its ability to be easily sanitized. Everything from the headboard, to the side rail, to the beds’ coils and tubes can be made from stainless steel.

While hospital beds may be one of the items patients interact with the most, steel for medical can be seen in a vast amount of equipment, including:

  • Wheelchairs
  • Walkers
  • IV stands
  • Surgical equipment
  • Orthopedic instruments
  • Heart valves
  • Screws
  • Plates

The 3 Benefits of Stainless Steel for Medical

1. High Corrosion Resistance

Surgical steels for the medical industry feature high corrosion resistance due to the passivation layer of chromium oxide. So thin that it can’t be seen by the naked eye, the layer protects the metal and remains impervious to water to prevent rust. 

Because certain types of surgical steel can be used for functions as important as valve replacement of the human heart, it’s essential that they withstand corrosion well.

2. Antibacterial and Easy to Sanitize

Germs can be rampant throughout a hospital, and drug-resistant strains can often develop and flourish. It’s critical to choose the best steel for medical care that’s also a poor habitat for germs to live in. Surgical steel is the clear standout. This metal is non-porous and self-healing, which ensures that it’s easier to completely sterilize, and prevents the buildup of tough germs and infection-causing bacteria.

The high corrosion resistance also makes steel for medical use easier to sanitize. Cleaning products specifically produced for the medical industry have high percentages of acid that could cause a normal metal to rust. The passivation layer prevents rust from these chemicals to allow sterilization

3. Non-Magnetic

Anytime a person receives an implant, it must be composed of non-magnetic, non-corrosive metals that are biocompatible materials. Machines such as MRIs (Magnetic Resonance Imaging Equipment) use a powerful magnet to create an image of the inside of a body. Steel for medical implants always has non-magnetic properties to ensure a patient’s safety in any situation.

If a magnetic material was exposed to equipment like an MRI, it could damage the implant and the surrounding tissues.

Fry Steel Offers High-Quality Steel for the Medical Industry

For medical steel, Fry Steel complies with the guidelines set out in ASTM F-899 for the manufacture of surgical instruments. Fry Steel also meets the global industry quality standard, with the ISO 9001 certification. We undergo an audit every year by the International Standards Authority, Inc. to ensure these two critical certifications are always up-to-date.

When you work with Fry Steel, you’re gaining 50 years of experience in the medical device field. Our client’s medical hardware can be seen in hundreds of operating rooms across the country, saving lives every day. If you want steel expertise that’s at the forefront of medical device innovation, call a knowledgeable sales rep at Fry Steel today.


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