Gold plating is utilised in the electronics industry because of its superior conductivity and low contact resistance. It is traditionally used to provide a gleaming finish on the exquisite jewellery. Although gold is used less commonly in plating applications than other precious metals such as silver or palladium due to its comparatively high cost and rarity, it is typically the choice when exceptional quality is required. The employment of gold plating in the manufacture of medical tools and appliances is an excellent example.
The history of using gold in the medical field
Gold has long been used for therapeutic purposes. Gold was first used to treat numerous medical conditions more than 5,000 years ago when it was thought to have mystical healing abilities. When a German bacteriologist named Robert Koch realised that gold compounds might be used to suppress the growth of the bacillus that leads to the beginning of tuberculosis, he pioneered their application in modern medicine. For his work, Koch received the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Gold is used by physicians and scientists worldwide to research and treat several critical medical disorders in the twenty-first century.
Gold plating is regularly used in electronics to offer a corrosion-resistant electrically conductive layer on copper, typically in electric connectors and revealed circuit boards.
With direct gold-on-copper plating, the copper atoms generally tend to diffuse through the gold layer, causing tarnishing of its surface and the formation of an oxide or sulphide layer.
If the gold layer does not dissolve into the solder, sluggish intermetallic reactions can continue within the solid nation because the tin and gold atoms cross-migrate. As a result, intermetallics have low electrical conductivity and low strength.
Characteristics of gold that make it is useful in the medical field
Gold has many qualities that make it a suitable medical alternative.
- Complex precision components are frequently required in medical devices. This necessitates using a soft, malleable metal that can be precisely moulded during the plating process. Gold plating is ideal for this, resulting in medical components with exceptional performance.
- Gold’s biocompatibility is perhaps its most essential feature. It has no toxic or other detrimental effects when it comes into contact with living tissue, skin, or even internal organs. As a result, it’s in high demand for covering implants performance.
- Being a brilliant metal, gold is easily visible when injected into a patient’s body. This makes it easier to insert an implant with pinpoint precision. Like a fluoroscopy machine, other medical technologies can also be used to locate and identify it, which is vital for evaluating the implant’s function.
- Gold is one of the most corrosion-resistant metals. It does not oxidise in the air and is unaffected by most acids as well. As a result, gold-plated implements are a safe choice for insertion into a patient’s body.
- Gold is not only a good conductor but also a long-lasting one. As a result, it’s an excellent plating material for any medical device with electrical or electronic components.
Importance of gold plating in the medical industry
In the medical field, common gold plating applications include:
- Electronic pacemakers for regulating a patient’s heartbeat, as well as gold-plated stents for inflating and supporting arteries
- Because of gold’s biocompatibility, it’s ideal for implants that reduce the danger of infection, such as those used to aerate the inner ear’s tympanic chamber.
- Surgeons’ procedures for clearing blocked coronary arteries and removing malignancies
- Use lightweight lasers with gold-plated contacts by emergency physicians and battlefield medics to seal life-threatening injuries and wounds.
- False teeth, caps, and crowns are manufactured in dentistry.
The benefits of gold and today’s superior gold plating methods have enabled many modern medical advancements. Contact Smart Microns for gold plating systems and plating materials in Chennai.