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tline3open  Polishing Surgical Stainless Steel

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Author Topic:   Polishing Surgical Stainless Steel
Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 05-20-2007 04:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It surprised me to learn that the stainless steel used by surgeons can not be polished. Hospitals simply replace pieces that have rust.

Do any of our more metallugically inclined friends have any thoughts on this. Thanks, Dale

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argentum1

Posts: 602
Registered: Apr 2004

iconnumber posted 05-20-2007 08:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for argentum1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Surgical grade stainless steel is extremely resistant to any rust. It will form a dull surface coat that could be polished using a semi nonabrasive cleaner but that would leave micro scratches. Bacteria/viruses could colonize these scratches thus rendering the item unusable. Various methods are used for steriling. Gas autoclave, steam, ultraviolet light, chemical and gamma irradiation. There are multiple reasons for instrument disposal such as loss of spring, serrated surface loses its grip, bending etc. Using a worn out instrument is how not to get your malpractice carrier to send a Christmas card. Lesser grade stainless can rust but usually the rust is staining from a regular steel/iron item being in contact with the stainless item in a moist environment.

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