Table of Contents
ISRN Ceramics
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 237175, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/237175
Research Article

Evaluation of DLC, WC/C, and TiN Coatings on Martensitic Stainless Steel and Yttria-Stabilized Tetragonal Zirconia Polycrystal Substrates for Reusable Surgical Scalpels

1SITEIA.PARMA Interdepartmental Centre, University of Parma, 43124 Parma, Italy
2Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Parma, 43124 Parma, Italy
3Department of Chemistry, University of Parma, 43124 Parma, Italy
4CIPACK Interdepartmental Centre, University of Parma, 43124 Parma, Italy

Received 28 February 2013; Accepted 7 April 2013

Academic Editors: S. Bernik, K. L. Bing, H. I. Hsiang, and C.-F. Yang

Copyright © 2013 Stefano Pini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

DLC, WC/C, and TiN coated SF 100 martensitic stainless steel and Yttria-Stabilized Tetragonal Zirconia Polycrystal (Y-TZP) surgical scalpels were tested, characterized, and comparatively evaluated with regard to chemical leach, micromorphology, and mechanical properties in order to evaluate their suitability as reusable surgical scalpels. Vickers microhardness (HV), Scratch Hardness Number ( ), and sharpening by grinding and cutting capabilities of all the coated scalpels were deemed appropriate for reusable surgical scalpels. However, coated Y-TZP scalpels demonstrated higher Vickers microhardness than martensitic stainless steel scalpels coated with the same coatings, except DLC coating on Y-TZP substrate that presented less adhesion than the other coatings. Uncoated and coated martensitic stainless steel scalpels presented corrosion and chemical leach when soaked for a defined period of time in a simulant physiological saline solution, while uncoated and coated Y-TZP scalpels did not present these drawbacks. Therefore, DLC, WC/C, and TiN coated SF 100 martensitic stainless steel surgical scalpels are unsuitable as reusable surgical scalpels, limiting their application to disposable scalpels only, as the uncoated ones, despite their higher microhardness and expected longer cutting capability duration. Based on these experimental results, WC/C and TiN coated Y-TZP scalpels can be proposed as candidates for reusable surgical scalpel applications.