The Benefits of Black Titanium Nitride for Medical Instruments and Tools

Have you ever gone into surgery and just before they inject the sleepy stuff into your arm you think, “I wonder what color instruments the surgeon will be using on me?”

Yeah, me too.

I go one step further though – I wonder if the tools are coated with black titanium nitride.  It’s all the rage and after multiple customers came to us asking for this particular coating, I had to investigate why.

The Titanium Nitride Standard

Titanium nitride is one of our go to PVD coatings, particularly for injection molds.  I talk about our injection mold work here but, in a nutshell, titanium nitride provides high hardness and lubricity. Titanium nitride is a wear resistant coating – and that’s what we do best. But in the medical world it goes beyond the standard wear resistance – titanium nitride is a functional coating: reducing friction in medical instruments, providing biocompatibility for implants, is antimicrobial and the chemical barrier prevents a reaction for those with a sensitivity to nickel, which may be present in the tool metal itself.  And this tough ceramic coating helps retain sharp edges on the cutting instruments surgeons use (though we don’t like to think about it.) Perhaps the greatest advantage titanium nitride has though is that it is resistant to corrosion that can be caused by steam and chemical autoclaving cycles.  Titanium nitride can go through hundreds of autoclaving cycles without corroding or chipping.

Why Black you ask?

Well, it looks cool. 

But more important black titanium nitride is anti-glare – useful in a bright operating room.  No longer will your surgeon be distracted by bright, shiny objects. We’ve been coating medical implants with titanium nitride for years in our ISO 13485 facility.  Black titanium nitride for medical instruments such as scalpels, drills, needle drivers and reamers is now standard course – and we love to look at the finished product. Want to learn more about black titanium nitride for tools and instruments? Give us a shout. What we do is cutting edge.
Stay ahead of your big-brained colleagues and teach them about the latest coating technologies.