Type of Surface Change
- Stainless steels: Mostly a uniform, flat-gray surface attack that quite often leads to consequential damage in the form of corrosive deposits.
- Non-stainless steel products (e.g. disposable products such as scalpel blades or old instruments not made of stainless steel, typically with damaged or peeled-off chromium surface layers): Usually extreme corrosion below a pale-black surface.
- Color-anodized surfaces: Partial or complete loss of color intensity, with crater formation in cases of strong attack.
- Sintered carbide inserts made of cobalt-bonded tungsten carbide (= TC/Co), also at soldering points: Discoloration/stains and material erosion.
- Naturally anodized surfaces: Whitish-gray corrosion products, with crater formation in cases of strong attack.
Origin & Causes
- Chemical and electrochemical influences only in connection with an excessive acid content as far as stainless steel, sintered carbide metal (TC/Co) and soldered connections are concerned.
- Long-term impact of water/humidity (condensate) in the case of stainless steel.
- Impact of acids or alkaline agents in the case of anodized surfaces.
- Rust removal through acid-based cleaning in the case of stainless steel if the damage is still superficial, plus mechanical treatment of soldering points (if applicable) by the instrument manufacturer or a qualified repair service provider..
- If anodized or sintered carbide (TC/Co) surfaces are affected, the damage is irreparable.
- Observe application recommendations for acid-based cleaning and neutralizers when treating instruments made of stainless steel or sintered carbide (TC/Co) or items incorporating soldered connections.
- Sort out and discard disposable products or old steel instruments with damaged surfaces and replace them with stainless steel products.
- Avoid long-term exposure to humidity (condensate).
- Treat/process instruments with anodized surfaces in a neutral-pH environment.
- If surface treatment proves ineffective, replace the affected instruments with new ones (otherwise risk of consequential rust formation or film rust).
- Loss of color-coding function in color-anodized instruments.