Ceramic coatings offer distinct benefits over other types of coatings for medical devices and remain one of the most popular options for manufacturers of equipment. The main benefits of ceramic coatings include their durability and hardness, making them hardy and great for use in situations that require a lot of wear. However, ceramic coatings are surprisingly good for reducing friction even though they are not technically a type of hydrophilic coating. They help with situations in which electric insulation is necessary because ceramic eliminates conduction, and can be used on top of metal as well as polymers. Ceramic is also heat resistant, and can be combined with other coatings that offer protection like antimicrobial, electrical, and chemical resistance. Ceramic coatings should be tested fully for biocompatibility, to ensure that contact with bodily fluids does not compromise the integrity of the coating or lead to adverse outcomes.
Some of the most common uses for ceramic coatings are equipment like catheters, electrodes, probes, and implants. Surgical implements including those that are specifically designed to be disposable can use ceramic coatings. The ceramic coatings offer an ideal surface that resists the growth of pathogens while also offering ergonomic benefits like maneuverability, durability, corrosion resistance, and biocompatibility. The ceramic coatings on special orders will be custom designed according to the specifications required by the device manufacturer, and can help with developing novel medical equipment or devices. All ceramic coatings will have been tested for compliance with federal regulations.
The process of ceramic coating varies depending on the material but generally consist of thin nanocrystalline films of ceramic that are applied using a low temperature ion beam. The most commonly used and reliable materials in the ceramic coating process include aluminum oxide, zirconium oxide, and titanium oxide, as well as amalgams.