There is a wide range of black-coated surgical instruments used other than stainless-steel ones used for surgical procedures. The black coating allows for easy placement, improved abrasion resistance, and restorative instrumentation precisely along with other benefits. In addition to visually attractive appearance, there are several other benefits of black coated instruments too which are as follows:
- They are generally harder than stainless steel instruments up to 10 times
- The oxidized aluminum coating makes them corrosion resistant
- They are easy to clean and have prolonged life
- Nickel coating and absence of chromium make these instruments anti-allergic
- They have a lower wear rate of up to 60% than stainless steel
- The surface of these instruments is non-reflective that lessens eye-fatigue
How black-coated instruments are made
An environmentally friendly process called Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) is used for the making of a black coating that adds a layer of Titanium Aluminum Nitrate (TiAIN) to the tool/instrument.
The process involves a vacuum chamber in which magnetron-sputtering of Aluminum and Titanium is done onto a substrate. The process then converts metal particles of the target into the vapor phase. These particles then interact with Nitrogen ions and form a high density and thin layer of a few microns (µm) that gets deposited onto the substance.
The surface of the coating comprises Oxidized Aluminum (Al2O3) that works as an excellent corrosion barrier as proven by electro-chemical tests.
Moreover, The surface layer of black-coated instruments does not contain Nickel or Chromium compounds which makes these tools biocompatible.
Black-coated instruments are generally easier to clean due to lowered surface tension and give the instrument a hydrophobic effect.
All types of surgical instruments can be coated including:
- Needle holders
- Forceps etc.