Industry News

Importance of Metal Finishing for Medical Equipment Companies

Medical device finishing in the medical industry is critical to produce safe, sanitary applications that provide optimal performance. Reliability is critical in this industry, which can face challenges due to strict regulations and rigorous biocompatibility testing. For medical equipment companies, instruments and components ranging from orthodontics and dental to hospital and surgical need to be defect-free, burr-free and decontaminated for peak performance.

Although many of these parts may be disposable, medical devices still need to have surfaces that are smooth, uniform and corrosion-resistant to avoid harboring bacteria. Below, we review the importance of proper metal finishing within the medical industry.

Advantages of Metal Finishing in the Medical Industry


A major part of medical industry metal finishing is for decontamination, to ensure that parts being used in healthcare will not grow bacteria. This is done by creating a surface that doesn’t allow external microorganisms to stick to achieve superior sanitation.


Passivation is a process that removes particles from the surface of a part or application to prevent corrosion. Some alloys offer corrosion-resistance, but impurities can still disfigure stainless steel and titanium surfaces. This process allows for higher temperature resistance and decreases the risk of contamination.


Medical implants or any other metal piece that will be placed within the human body has very intricate and exacting specifications compared with tools or equipment used in the industry. Each part must meet strict dimensional tolerances and smoothness measurements, no exceptions.

Burrs or other defects are a contributor to possible contamination and potential jamming, so it’s essential that the surfaces of medical device parts be burr-free. The deburring process typically uses a tumbler to remove burrs even in hard to reach areas without having to compromise the integrity or tolerance of medical parts. A comprehensive understanding of how each medical part performs is vital to how it will function after surface finishing.

Commonly Finished Medical Parts & Applications

Many areas of medicine, from biopharmaceutical to dental to even veterinary, utilize parts that need to be professionally finished. These medical applications include but are not limited to:

  • Orthopedic devices (such as impacts for hips, shoulders, elbows, and knees)
  • Cardiovascular implants (such as pacemakers)
  • Defibrillators
  • Processing & batch tanks
  • Prosthetic devices
  • Surgical tools (such as scalpels, clamps, saws and cannulas)

Contact the Experts at RP Abrasives

At RP Abrasives, we understand that constant progression in the metal finishing process is crucial to supporting the medical industry. The finishes that the medical industry requires will vary widely based on what each part is being used for. At RPA, we consider how each part will be used and take great care in finishing each, which is why medical equipment companies trust us to achieve these complex finishes.

Whether you need your applications tumbled, polished, bead blasted, deburred, passivated or cleaned, the professionals at RPA will finish your medical application to exact specifications. To request a quote for medical device finishing, please fill out the form here.