Chromium, molybdenum and nickel. You may not remember these names from your high school chemistry class, but when combined, these three metals create a form of stainless steel that has a wide range of functions within the medical field.
The Winning Combination
With uses in fields ranging from dentistry to biomedical engineering, steel is a highly versatile metal. With numerous grades and compositions on the market, it’s no surprise that it can serve a wide variety of functions. Surgical grade stainless steel has a particular mixture of nickel, molybdenum and chromium that creates the ideal steel for medical use.
Though occasionally the cause of allergic reactions in some individuals, the use of nickel results in a highly polishable metal that promotes good hygiene and precise shaping. This reduces the chance of infection and makes it easier to create intricate tools. Additionally, chromium helps the steel resist scratches and facilitates sterilization. For use in the field of dentistry, the benefits of this property are seen in drills, buffers and scrapers. Molybdenum, for its part, makes the steel hard, durable and sharp, which is ideal for creating scalpels and medical scissors.
A Multi-Functional Metal
A metal that is slow to deteriorate, hard to break and easy to keep clean makes for the perfect surgical instrument. Bone fixtures and replacement plates need to be sturdy and capable of enduring for months and years at a time. Cutting implements and needles must be easily sterilized and free of dents and scratches. Having a high-quality metal that will retain its strength and shape while eliminating the chance for infection makes everyday operations smoother and minimizes the risk of long-term side effects. Beyond the medical community, it can even be found in body jewelry and kitchenware. Highly hygienic and smooth, it’s a beautiful metal with incredible purpose.