Sanford Process Launches New Aluminum Oxide Coating for Medical Devices

MICRALOX®, a revolutionary new aluminum oxide coating for finishing aluminum medical devices, is being launched into the global marketplace by the Sanford Process Corporation (SPC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Duralectra-CHN.

According to Tim Cabot, head of SPC, “Our unique MICRALOX aluminum oxide process creates a micro-crystalline barrier that produces an extremely long lasting, virtually indestructible surface coating. No other finishing can compete with Micralox.”

On the left, sample of anodized aluminum used in surgical trays that has been through a 12.5 pH cleaning and sterilization process 10 times. On the right, a sample of aluminum coated with MICRALOX that has been through the exact same sterilization process.

Subjected to exhaustive independent testing, MICRALOX proves to deliver dramatically superior chemical corrosion resistance, while eliminating color fading due to super-heated steam. Micralox is RoHS compliant and maintains the design flexibility and close tolerances associated with conventional anodizing and hard coat.

Tim Cabot emphasized that there is a growing need for new approaches to finish 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,” Cabot said, “to those made from stainless steel or plastic. However,” he added, “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, making them last 10 times longer. While MICRALOX dramatically increases the total service life of each part, it maintains all of the important characteristics of sulfuric acid anodizing.

MICRALOX allows aluminum to be an excellent alternative to more expensive materials used in high pH solutions and super-heated steam conditions. MICRALOX provides new less expensive options for surgical cases and other medical products where disinfection and repeated cleaning is a requirement. MICRALOX also provides more cost effective options in the production of marine, automotive, and military products.


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