Why Are There Gold Plated Medical Devices?

More medical devices today are coated with gold than you may realize. Of all the metals in existence, it is one of the most biocompatible. Once a stent, pacemaker, or implant is inserted, the risk of postoperative infection is greatly reduced when gold is used. So, it should come as no surprise that it’s a popular choice for the health and well-being of a doctor’s patient.

Granted, gold is pricey. But when it comes to your safety and quality of life, it’s well worth the price tag. We are going to take a look at why medical devices are electro plated and then look specifically at gold plating for them.

Medical Devices – Why Electroplating Is Used

On the market today are countless medical devices which have received electroplating. But why? Here are some reasons that electroplating is used:

  • Braided shafts, among other things, are required for many applications using medical devices. They can be coated with electroplating.
  • Radiopaque features are created.
  • Sanitation and cleanliness are promoted.
  • Biocompatibility is provided.
  • Between different metals, compatibility is created.
  • Corrosion resistance is improved.
  • Wear resistance is increased.
  • Thermal conductivity is promoted.
  • Electrical conductivity is facilitated (copper, silver, and gold are particularly able to efficiently carry current).

Gold Plating Medical Devices

Copper, nickel, tin, and silver – as well as gold – are excellent when electroplating medical devices. The aesthetic quality of gold is what most of us think of right off the bat. But as a coating for medical instruments, it is well-suited because it exhibits precise properties. Today, it is a common practice to gold plate medical implants. It’s used on everything from electrical contacts to electronic pacemakers to stents. Even military medical personnel use gold plated laser equipment to treat battlefield injuries.

Here are some of the things that gold is used on/as in the medical field:

  • Plastics metallization
  • Scopes
  • Housings
  • Battery casings
  • Dental devices
  • Implants
  • Pacemakers
  • Stents

Gold Plating and Its Benefits

It’s true, compared to copper, tin, and nickel – non-precious metals which are far less pricey – gold is expensive. Yet for numerous manufacturing applications where medical devices are concerned, it is the preferred plating option. But why? In the long run, it can actually be the most cost-effective option! For the biomedical manufacturer, it provides the best return on investment. This also stands true for the consumer of a medical device.

Gold has special attributes including the following:

  • Durability – Weldability
  • Electrical conductivity
  • Visibility
  • Density
  • Biocompatible
  • Superb corrosion resistance
  • Malleability

Gold also assists when nickel titanium alloy is fused onto other metals. Additionally, for an insulin pump, the battery casing can be coated with gold to protect against corrosion.

For the Best Biomedical Device Coating Services

At A&A Coatings, we specialize in different types of thermal spray coatings.

One type of coating we apply over and over again is that of a biomedical classification. Our coatings are on parts and mechanisms in the bodies of individuals everywhere! If it’s good enough to be used by a surgeon in the human body, you know it’s high-quality.

If your company could make good use of biomedical devices, coated expertly by experienced, knowledgeable technicians, contact A&A Coatings today.

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