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Surface coating of medical devices

Every day, healthcare professionals and medical device specialists stand up for the lives and health of their fellow human beings. When doing so, they must be able to fully rely on their machines and instruments. High-quality surface coatings play a part in ensuring that this re-quirement is met. Aalberts surface treatment offers coating processes for small batches, bulk goods and large custom-made items.

Surface coating of medical devices

Surface finishing of medical devices

Impeccable hygiene is the key requirement when it comes to surface technology for medical devices: The spreading of germs must be avoided by all means, sterility plays a vital role. That is why hospitals, medical practices and laboratories are subject to high hygiene standards. With its innovative surface technologies, Aalberts surface treatment makes a major contribution to compliance with these standards.

Quality in every respect

Modern medical technology sets the highest standards for tribology, durability and biocompatibility as well as for the degree of purity of coated medical devices. At Aalberts surface treatment we also fulfil highly complex customer requirements and specialise in the functional surface finishing of components for medical technology systems as well as products for orthopaedic and surgical applications.

Smooth, Non-Scratch and Chemical-Resistant Surfaces

High-quality coatings applied to the surfaces of medical instruments and devices prevent the formation of harmful germs. To achieve this objective, the following properties are indispensable:

  • As it is easier for dirt to stick to uneven surfaces, the surface structure must be virtually free from pores and extremely smooth.
  • Soiling can be removed easily and without leaving any residues when the surface possesses non-stick properties.
  • Extremely hard and scratch-resistant coating helps maintain the surface properties in the long run.
  • Efficient corrosion protection increases the longevity of components.
  • As medical devices need to be sterilised with corrosive substances, it is imperative for the surface to offer high resistance to aggressive chemicals.
  • The surface coating must securely adhere to the substrate.

According to the requirements of the German Consumer Goods Ordinance (BedGgstV) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), medical devices require food-safe surface coatings. Aalberts surface treatment's sophisticated and durable surface finishes exceed these requirements without exceptions.

Anodising and Hard Anodising

In medical technology, aluminium has a very high utility value as a basic material or alloy, which is due to its low weight. During anodising and hard anodising, the surface finish grows into the workpiece. Despite the low process temperatures, these processes - which occur with precisely defined dimensional changes - create extremely strong bonding forces between the surface finish and the basic material. HART-COAT® by Aalberts surface treatment is a hard-anodised coating characterised by extremely fine pores, exceptionally high durability, excellent resistance to corrosion and hardness values of up to 480 HV0.025. HART-COAT® is used, for instance, to coat fixed-angle rotors of microliter centrifuges. These devices can be found, for example, in blood banks and clinical laboratories where blood and other bodily fluids are centrifuged. In the research area, these centrifuges are used for the extraction of DNA, proteins and enzymes. For weight reduction purposes, fixed-angle rotors are manufactured from aluminium alloys. With a thickness of 40 µm, this hard-anodised layer protects components against corrosion.

An Extremely Resistant Coating

Pre-treatment with our SILA-COAT® dip coating ensures more than 1,000 hours of corrosion resistance in the salt spray test. The dielectric strength exceeds that of most hard-anodised layers. Featuring a thickness of usually 20 to 30 µm, this surface finish complies with the FDA requirements and has proven to be harmless to the tissue cells. When combining SILA-COAT® with an anodised layer, it is possible to create an extremely resistant surface finish, which is able to withstand acidic and alkaline cleaners in around 1,000 cleaning cycles. One example is sterile packaging, e.g. implant and instrument containers. While the container frame consists of plastic, the housing, the inserts and the plates are made from aluminium alloy. In this case, resistance to alkaline cleaning media is more important than resistance to wear and tear.

When it comes to surface coating of medical devices, Aalberts surface treatment goes even further by using its own patents and high-performance processes:

  • Plasma-chemical finishing of magnesium and aluminium materials
  • Chemical nickel plating of ferrous and non-ferrous materials, ideal for combined coatings involving PVD
  • Chromium thin films for extreme tribological requirements.

We Know Our Customers' Needs

We want your projects to run smoothly, which is why we adapt our concept to your requirements: Aalberts surface treatment has branch offices from Europe to Shanghai to Chicago. Thus, we are very close to you and perfectly networked.

Nearly 60 years of experience and research in surface technology, professional advice and absolute reliability: these are the attributes our customers appreciate.

  • C-arm made from high-strength cast aluminium alloy, surface finished using hard anodic oxidation with embedded PTFE lubricants. Source: www.siemens.com/presse (© 2015 Siemens AG Pressebilder/Presspictures)

  • Meticulous individual control of the coating of high-grade medical parts.

  • Angular rotors for microlitre centrifuges. The aluminium body is protected against corrosion by a HART-COAT® coating.

  • Technically anodised injection buttons: The injection buttons are made of a high-strength aluminium alloy, which has a technical anodising coating as tarnish protection and to protect against skin perspiration. The injection buttons of the different pens have a different texture (rough or smooth), which facilitates recognition. The coating with technical anodising with its thin layer thickness supports these tactile surfaces.

  • Dental turbine with titanium-look combination layer of electroless nickel and PVD-titanium: coated head housing with titanium sleeve (top), head housing with electroless nickel coating (DURNI-COAT®) plus subsequent titanium layer (centre), head housing brass blank (bottom).


If you would like to tell us something about the applications presented here, you are welcome to do so. Your enquiry, your comment, your wishes will be forwarded directly to your personal contact person.