If you are familiar with the medical device industry, you know that gold is the plating material of choice. Silver, rhodium, and palladium all provide high-quality finishes and are cheaper than gold, but none of these materials offers the “total package” that gold does when it comes to the medical industry.
(Freeimages / Phil Beard)
So what makes gold so well-suited for medical devices? Here’s a closer look at its assets:
- Conductive. Gold is an excellent conductor of electricity, and it maintains its conductivity over time. This makes gold perfect for medical instruments with connector pins and electrical contact switches.
- Bio-compatible. Other metals can cause negative reactions when they come in contact with the human body, but not gold. It will not disturb skin or other tissues or internal organs.
- Malleable. Because gold is softer than other metals that are commonly used for plating, it is perfect for shape-memory devices and high-precision medical tools.
- Corrosion-resistant. Since some medical devices need to be implanted in the human body, they must be resistant to both moisture and acid. Gold is impervious to both and will not oxidize, even with prolonged exposure to liquids. Gold’s corrosion-resistance makes it ideal for the high degrees of sterility required for medical instruments.
- Radiopacity. The high density of gold makes it opaque to x-rays.
Gold plating is commonly used for:
- High tech lasers (for cauterizing wounds or imaging)
- Batteries (for insulin pumps, etc.)
- Dental components (dental brackets, arch wires, etc.)
Many modern medical technologies are made possible through the virtues of gold and today’s advanced gold plating processes. For gold plating systems and plating supplies, contact Gold Plating Services.