The materials used in medical equipment heavily dictates a product’s quality and overall performance. While wire selection is important for determining characteristics of strength and flexibility, alloy choice is just as critical. Because alloys impart their own physical and chemical properties, a product made with 302 stainless steel will perform differently than a product made with 316LVM. To assist with alloy selection, let’s take a closer look at how the balance of material purity, strength, and corrosion resistance makes 316LVM adaptable to a wide range of products and applications.
The “VM” in 316LVM stands for Vacuum Melt. This process reduces impurities in the metal, and achieves the superior level of cleanliness required by the medical industry today. Because impurities can negatively impact the fatigue life of metals, vacuum melting ensures the raw materials perform to peak standards. An additional benefit of the vacuum melting process is that it forms a chromium oxide layer on the surface of the material that protects individuals with nickel allergies from experiencing an allergic reaction.
Broad Range of Applications
316LVM is one of the most common alloys used in the production of suture wire and staple wire due to its durability. Additionally, it’s longevity and neutrality within the body makes it a common material for permanent implants. Other medical products include guide wires, orthopedic cable, catheters, and stylets. For more information about product applications, visit https://www.looscomedtech.com/applications/.
Vacuum melt produces a superior surface finish, which creates excellent resistance to physiological environments. This helps protect 316LVM against pitting and crevice corrosion, which are highly undesirable in a medical setting. For more information about 316LVM stainless steel properties and specifications, visit the materials page on our website.