Best of 2016: Metal medical miracles - Part 3

Best of 2016: Metal medical miracles - Part 3

Many physical ailments would go untended if it weren’t for the metals surgeons use to repair us. Cobalt chrome alloys, titanium, stainless steel – these and a host of proprietary metals are used in knee and hip joint replacement, fusion cages that relieve pressure on ailing discs, pacemakers and pumps, and the screws and hardware that hold it all together.

December 28, 2016

The final edition of this three-part medical machining series from Sandvik Coromant looks at the metals used in medical devices, their properties, and why each is selected for certain medical applications.

Most metals used to create life- saving objects fall into a group known as heat resistant super alloys (HRSA). These tough materials are widely used in the medical industry due to their high strength, hardness, and corrosion resistance, as well as their ability to retain these properties even at elevated temperatures.

These biocompatible metals must not provoke immune responses from the human body or leach harmful minerals into the patient across time. For permanent implants, metals should also show a tendency toward osseointegration, meaning that they will gradually meld with the surrounding bone tissue and connective tissue and not come loose requiring surgical replacement after a few years.

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