Sterilization Trays: Stainless Steel or Plastic?

Stainless steel and polymers are two of the most important material choices for sanitization trays utilized for pharmaceutical and clinical purposes. As far as durability, the long period of usability, and protection from foreign substance ingestion, carefully hardened steel outflanks plastic trays, particularly for clinical use. Treated steel trays additionally have a lower complete expense after some time.

Plastics can become stained, can retain liquids, have a restricted life rack, and are costly after some time. The CDC exhorts utilizing a temperature between 121°C (250°F) to 132°C (270°F) for steam disinfection of careful instruments. (Rule for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities, 2008 ( These suggested temperatures far surpass what most polymers’ trays can endure, which is around 74°C (165°F). Due to these attributes, numerous plastic trays for clinical use are developed as disposables, planned for single-use applications. They may likewise be utilized for substance cleansing. But on the other hand, they can create huge plastic waste that is a very serious issue in the long run. 

For most clinical applications, tempered steel sterilization containers or systems are the conspicuous decision. Assuming you need an expendable choice or you are utilizing synthetic sterilants, then, at that point, you could consider polymer sanitization trays 

Stainless Steel’s Ease of Sterilization :

Given their higher temperature resiliency and smooth surface completion (particularly when electropolished), treated steel trays are a lot simpler to completely clean than plastic trays. Sanitization activity temperatures that would soften plastic trays would not harm steel trays. This can assist with killing microscopic organisms and infections that are impervious to substance-based disinfection strategies.

Likewise, the smooth surface of electropolished tempered steel makes it unquestionably hard for liquids and different foreign substances to hold fast to the trays—which makes eliminating such toxins a lot simpler and more dependable. 

Corrosion-Resistant Properties of Stainless Steel :

Treated steel clinical trays have a more extended life expectancy than plastic because of their destructive safe properties. While treated steel opposes consumption in air and unadulterated water conditions, high-alloyed steel grades likewise oppose erosion from most acids, basic arrangements, and chlorine conditions. Conversely, most plastics can’t keep going long in burning conditions and have extremely restricted consumption.

The capacity to oppose acidic arrangements is fundamental for clinical trays since organic liquids and clinical solvents are corrosives. While nonexclusive hardened steel can oppose contact with corrosives, for example, body-liquids, grade 316 tempered steel is particularly impervious to chlorides that would harm customary steel.

In examination with plastic or less expensive metals like aluminum, steel trays are more grounded and are more impervious to harm from an unplanned drop 

Sustainability of Stainless Steel :

More and more businesses and institutions have been adopting an environmentally conscious perspective than ever before. Surveys indicate the average consumer’s growing support of sustainable practices. 

For instance, the Harvard Business Review reported that over the past five years, 90% of sustainability-marked products had grown faster than their conventional counterparts. The verdict is clear: consumers are voting for more sustainable practices and they’re voting with their dollars.

When compared to steel, plastic is a highly unsustainable product. When plastic trays are disposed of, they are either thrown into the trash or sent to a recycling center (if the plastic is even reusable). However, there will always be some waste created by the recycling process. By using the same stainless steel trays for years, you can minimize the waste generated by your company, improving your reputation for eco-friendliness.

Additionally, steel is a more sustainable option due to plastic’s lesser longevity. Plastic breaks down much faster when compared to steel. Since most plastics come from petroleum, it’s also an often imported and non-renewable resource.

By purchasing stainless steel trays made in the USA, you’ll also cut down on delivery costs and carbon emissions since the medical trays won’t need to be shipped in from overseas.

Total Cost Over Time :

The initial cost of plastic trays is less than that of stainless steel sterilization trays. If you can use a stainless steel tray for 10 years and you must replace the polymer baskets three to four times a year, the cost over time makes stainless steel the cost-effective option

Stainless Steel Trays (WP-4372)Stainless steel traysPlastic trays 
Initial Cost$152$60
Expected Life10 Years4 Months
Number Needed for 10 Years130
Total Cost over Time$152$1800

Bottom Line :

Stainless steel sterilization instruments are better to use both in terms of longevity & usability as compared to plastic trays. SteriTrays is manufacturing stainless steel sterilization trays, baskets, and boxes in all sizes. Stainless steel sterilization instruments are economical and environmental friendly as they produce less waste as compared to plastic trays. 

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