Neither Stainless Steel nor Surgical Steel appear on the Periodic Table of Elements because they are alloys.
What is an alloy?
- An alloy is any metal that is made up of 2 or more elements.
Both Stainless Steel and Surgical Steel can refer to a variety of alloys.
This is an alloy that is made of the following elements: chromium, nickel and molybdenum. Nickel? Yes, nickel. Surgical steel was created as a material that was well suited for medical applications because it is easy to clean, is strong and corrosion resistant. The nickel is chemically bound and does not cause an allergic reaction in the majority of the population. Because there is still nickel present, the term, “nickel complaint” is used being used more commonly in the US and is a legal requirement in the EU. This means that the product has been subjected to testing and does not leach (leak out) nickel more than prescribed limits.
This is an alloy that is made with chromium which prevents rust. There are dozens of stainless steel alloys. I use a number of them including, 316L, 303 and 304, which also qualify as surgical steel and nickel complaint. I also use 430 and 410 that are actually nickel free.