Why is silver plating so popular and why would you choose it for your medical application?

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Silver plating is a very popular choice for many industries including medical, electronics, telecommunications, automotive, and many more. Silver plating exhibits excellent anti-galling properties, high lubricity, a wide operating temperature range, good corrosion resistance, and exceptional conductivity.

Silver is one of the most common metals used for plating in the medical industry because it boasts a wealth of beneficial qualities plus it is biocompatible and inherently resistant to bacteria. Silver is also extremely ductile which makes it a great choice for shape-memory devices and high precision instruments.

What are the benefits of choosing silver plating for your medical applications?

ManufacturabilitySilver is easy to manufacture and adhere or join to other metals.
BiocompatibleThe material is able to come into contact with the human body without causing an adverse (or allergic) reaction.
Antimicrobial/AntibacterialSilver inherently has characteristics that make it resistant to microbes and bacterial growth; making items coated safer and more hygienic to use.
Corrosion ResistanceSilver is resistant to corrosion which helps to extend the life of the plated item.
Lubricious SurfaceSilver forms an anti-seizing and anti-galling coating over the metal part allowing it to move more freely.
High Electrical ConductivityPromotes the efficient flow of electricity which can affect the device’s functionality. Even if it becomes tarnished, silver still retains its excellent electrical conductivity properties.
High Thermal ConductivityAllows good heat dissipation in vacuum environments.  
High Light ReflectivitySilver has the highest degree of optical reflectivity of any metal which makes it ideal for items such as medical lasers.
Cost EffectiveSilver is one of the least expensive precious metals and choosing it over other precious metals, such as gold or palladium, can save you quite a bit of money.

What are the most common types of medical applications silver plating is utilized in?

Silver plating has so many beneficial qualities that there are numerous medical applications and many different ways within each application that silver is used, such as:

  • Battery contacts
  • Catheters
  • Connectors
  • Contact pins
  • Endoscopic and Arthroscopic tools and scanners
  • Forceps
  • Glucose monitors
  • Insulin pumps
  • Medical lasers
  • MRI machines
  • RF (Radio Frequency) coils and amplifiers
  • RF ablation devices
  • Stethoscopes
  • Switches
  • And so much more

While the right coating or plating for your critical application is best defined by your process engineer, we are always here to assist you. UC Components, Inc. has been the world leader in clean-critical hardware since 1974. By partnering with experts like us in engineering and supply, manufacturers like you not only solve incumbent issues such as galling, but also boost safety, quality, speed to market, and profitability.

How can UC Components help you?

UC Components, Inc. RediVac® fasteners, washers, hex nuts, and O-rings are specifically designed for use in a wide range of high vacuum applications and clean-critical environments. We offer a range of finishing processes, including coatings and platings that are designed to prevent galling and/or improve the corrosion resistance of the treated component. All are vacuum compatible and dependent on your specific process chemistry.

Our plating and coating finishing processes include:

redivac by uc components

Also, every single one of our RediVac® components, from silver plated screws to WS2 coated washers to untreated hex nuts, goes through our certified Class 100 / ISO Class 5 Cleanroom precision cleaning and packaging processes prior to shipment. Your parts arrive ready for vacuum service.

Take a moment to look over our standard products. Can’t find exactly what you are looking for? We specialize in prototypes and custom parts which are not listed in our standard online product offerings. Give us a call or send us an RFQ. Our experts are here to help you select the right fasteners for your specific application. Contact UC Components, Inc. today.

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