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Piercings-Surgical Steel


Does anyone have about working with Stainless Steel for
piercing. I am a metal artist in silver and gold, and there is some
interest in this area for piercing. Who could I contact or what books
would be available? Thank you very much. Coit-NM


I would think that you would only want to use surgical grade
stainless. The nickle in stainless can be irritating, even on the
skin’s surface if one is sensitized. Elna in chilly Berkeley


Sorry for the delayed response to your question. I do have a source
for stainless steel, Small Parts 1-800-220-4242. They have a web
sight as well . It has been about seven years
since I did my research but I remember something about 316L being the
surgical kind. Small Parts has 316V. I don’t know how they compare. I
have been told that heating it up may change the properties of the
metal. You may try to design around the soldering issue by using a
cold connection. I ended up using 14k gold for my navel ring. I have
had no problems but then I don’t even have an allergy to icky nickel
silver (I have only used that for bracelets and neck pieces). Please
let me know if you would like me to dig further for the metal (my
brother did find some 316L). Please feel free to contact me off line.

Hope this helps
Kate Wilcox


Hello Kate, I do not know, that Stainless steel 316L is the same as
surgical steel. I have read it once, but I am not shore this steel
is good enough… As a industrial engineer I do now some about the
Stainless steels. The 316 is a medium resistant stainless. A better
easy available one is 321. It has al to do with the amount of alloy
elements. the 316L has a more resistant against cracks, when weld
than the standard 316. 316V has more strength at higher temperatures.
I will not go to far in detail, but if anybody needs to know more
they can mail me more specified questions. Now the heating up
question; It is trough that if you (over) heat the steel that the
chemical properties change, but this is only at the surface. The
stainless resistance is based on chromium oxides on the surface. an
generally al steels containing more than 13% chromium can be called
corrosion resistant in an environment where oxygen is. The layer of
chromium oxides is protecting it against further corrosion. In
reducing, anaerobe environments it will be eaten away because there
is no chromium oxide on the surface to give a protecting closed
layer. If you get discolouration due to heating the chromium contend
on the surface is below the 13% and you can get rust. The ferrite
particles are getting to the surface and are pushing the chromium
inwards. A human body is rather chemical aggressive, and will than
attack the stainless steel. You need to grind of , or etch, the
overdose of ferrite away. (remove the discolouration) And a close
protected layer gets back. I simple way is to put it in hot 10%

Martin Niemeijer