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New Coating Reported to Protect Aluminum Medical Devices from Corrosion


WOONSOCKET, R.I.--An aluminum oxide coating recently introduced by the Sanford Process Corporation (SPC) is said to offer a new approach to finishing aluminum medical devices. The new coating, known as MICRALOX®, is reported to deliver superior chemical corrosion resistance, while eliminating color fading due to super-heated steam, following exhaustive independent testing. Micralox is RoHS compliant and reportedly maintains the design flexibility and close tolerances associated with conventional anodizing and hard coat.

"Our unique Micralox aluminum oxide process creates a micro-crystalline barrier that produces an extremely long lasting, virtually indestructible surface coating," said Tim Cabot, head of SPC, in a statement.

Cabot emphasized the growing need for new approaches to finishing re-usable medical equipment made from aluminum. "Considering design, weight, thermal conductivity, strength, and total cost--cases, trays, handles, fixturing, and other devices made from aluminum are all preferable to those made from stainless steel or plastic," Cabot said. "However, the cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization protocols commonly used by central service stations in hospitals and clinics worldwide can be highly corrosive to aluminum. Articles can lose their original finish and, eventually, their usefulness, a costly downturn.

"At SPC, we listened to the medical community and knew the market was looking for a better, more-cost efficient solution," Cabot continued. "So we put our top creative process engineers and chemists to work and, after an exhaustive period of research and development, Micralox emerged as the truly unique and viable solution."

Unlike amorphous anodic coatings, the corrosion barrier created by micro-crystalline structures in Micralox protects aluminum medical devices from corrosion, enabling them to last "10 times longer," the company says. Micralox ( is said to dramatically increase the total service life of each part while maintaining all of the important characteristics of sulfuric acid anodizing. According to the company, it allows aluminum to be an excellent alternative to more expensive materials used in high pH solutions and super-heated steam conditions. The coating is said to provide new, less expensive options for surgical cases and other medical products that require disinfection and repeated cleaning. It also reportedly offers more cost effective options in the production of marine, automotive, and military products.

The Sanford Process Corporation ( is a wholly owned subsidiary of Duralectra-CHN (, an ISO 9001:2008 certified provider of advanced anodizing and metal finishing services.

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