Medical and Pharmaceutical Applications for Stainless Steel Trays

In Pharmaceutical, Medical

Marlin Steel on May 5, 2020

stainless-steel-medical-tray-with-lidStainless steel trays can have a surprisingly large variety of uses in hospital and pharmaceutical manufacturing settings. While many might assume that surgical trays are only for holding tools in an operating room or similar setting, there are quite a few ways that custom stainless steel trays can be used in these settings.

Why use stainless steel? What are the uses of medical trays? Here’s a quick explanation of why stainless steel makes the best medical trays and how hospitals or pharmaceutical manufacturers can use them.

Why You Should Choose Stainless Steel Trays

Stainless steel is the ideal material for making surgical trays and other containers/holders of medical tools. When compared to plastic, steel has numerous advantages, including:

  • Ease of Sanitation. Where plastic may absorb some contaminants (allowing them to spread), steel is non-absorbent. Additionally, steel can take extremely high temperatures without getting damaged. This makes it incredibly easy to sterilize.
  • Steel’s Durability. Even the “softest” of stainless steel alloys tend to be many times stronger than plastic. Stainless steel tends to resist scratching, handle drops, and take high temperatures far better than a plastic tray can.
  • Useful Life and Total Cost of Ownership. A well-made stainless steel surgical tray will far outlast a cheap plastic one. While plastic medical trays are cheaper up-front, the cost of continuous replacements could be higher over time. For example, if a steel instrument tray costs $300, but lasts five years, while a plastic tray costs $2, but has to be thrown out after each use (and is used once a day, five days a week), then, after ten years, the steel tray would have cost $300, while the plastic trays would have cost $2,600.
  • Steel’s Sustainability. Stainless steel is incredibly easy to reuse and recycle compared to most polymers. Where plastic may end up in the dump or the ocean as pollution, steel can be re-smelted and used in countless other products with ease.

5 Different Uses for Medical Trays

So, what are some of the uses of medical trays in a hospital or pharmaceutical manufacturing setting? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1: Autoclave Sterilization Pouch Holders

Custom-made stainless steel wire trays are often used to hold autoclave pouches through the sterilization process. The high durability and increased temperature resistance of stainless steel makes these trays ideal for the faster autoclave processes that require higher temperatures. Autoclave trays/racks tend to be custom-built for this purpose.

2: Hospital Overbed Tables

Stainless steel medical trays are often used in conjunction with hospital bedside tables or overbed tables to hold patient meals, medicines, and other items. The ease of sterilization for these steel surgical trays makes them easy to reuse over and over for patients for years.

For some patients, having a tray they can grab from their medical bed table is simply more convenient than trying to move the whole table into position—which improves convenience for the patient as well.

3: Surgical Instrument Trays

Stainless steel trays are often used to hold surgical instruments during procedures. The fact that stainless steel (especially electropolished steel) is so easy to clean and can resist oxidation from exposure to blood and other bodily fluids makes it ideal for holding sterile tools.

4: Medical Sample Storage & Handling

Stainless steel surgical trays can be used to hold medical samples for study, and to sterilize the sample trays after they’ve been used. Some pharmaceutical research groups used specially-designed surgical steel trays for the task, while others use more generic wire trays for holding samples.

5: Holding Medical Implants Through Cleaning Processes

Hospitals and medical product manufacturers need to ensure that the medical implants used in patients are free of any and all contaminants. So, they often use stainless steel medical trays to hold their medical implants through cleaning processes and during the implant surgery.

Marlin Steel has made custom wire trays and baskets for this very purpose for major medical manufacturers.

Let Marlin Steel Meet Your Stainless Steel Tray Needs

Marlin Steel has years of experience in manufacturing sterile stainless steel medical trays for a variety of applications in hospitals, pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, and medical research groups.

Whether you need to sterilize medical instruments, carry sterile components safely, or provide patients with a durable tray to hold something, Marlin Steel has the materials, tools, and expertise to create the best medical tray, basket, or cart for your needs. Reach out to the Marlin Steel team today to get started!


Author: Marlin Steel
Marlin Steel
Marlin Steel is a leading manufacturer of custom‐engineered products from steel wire and sheet metal. Its industrial material handling containers serve many industries including aerospace, defense, medical and automotive.

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