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Stainless Steel Hand Tools: a Preventative Solution to Ferrous Contamination

At what point in the manufacturing of FDA-regulated products would you use the same equipment that your auto mechanic would use on your car?

Even when sterilized before use, ordinary chrome-plated carbon steel hand tools can still be a large contributing factor to the problem of process contamination. A sterilized carbon steel tool is still a ferrous tool, and when used against stainless steel fasteners, for example, transfers the exposed iron particles from the tool to the surface of the stainless. In an oxygen environment with even low levels of humidity, these exposed particles react in the formation of iron oxide, or rust. Using stainless steel hand tools in the maintenance and operation of process equipment can eliminate the risk factor of ferrous contamination.

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Stainless Steel Tools Eliminate the Risk of Particulate Generation in a Cleanroom Environment
A significant risk of process contamination is introduced with the deterioration of the chrome plating commonly used on ordinary industrial hand tools. The application of an electroplated surface coating is intended to provide carbon steel tools with some level of corrosion resistance by acting as a barrier between the free iron on the tool surface and the environment, and thus reduce the level of oxidation. But although it is possible to effectively sterilize a chrome-plated carbon steel tool before use in Cleanrooms, each successive autoclave cycle acts to deteriorate the plating, causing it to chip, flake, and peel. Once the chrome plating is degraded, contamination can result not only from the airborne particles of the plating itself, but also from the oxidation of the exposed iron of the tool. Stainless steel hand tools have no plating; their corrosion resistance is a property of the chromium contained within the alloy. Replacing carbon steel tools with stainless steel tools eliminates this risk and should be considered a standard operating procedure for any modern facility.

Manufacturers of professional quality stainless steel hand tools designed for use in critical production, sterile, cleanroom, or corrosive environments. Our tools are designed and manufactured in full compliance with the established standards of ISO 9001: 2008. All Steritool products meet or exceed ISO, ANSI, SAE, DIN, and British Standard specification.

 

STERITOOL INC.
2376 LAKESHORE BLVD
JACKSONVILLE, FL 32210 USA
TEL:(904)-388-3672, (904)-388-3792, (904)-388-3802
FAX: (904)-388-3712
e-mail: steritool@steritool.com