(*Biocompatible: the condition of being compatible with living tissue or a living system by not being toxic or injurious and not causing immunological rejection.) Source: (Merriam-Webster Incorporated © 1997)
Over the last five years, we have found that The Wildcat Collection meets all of these requirements.
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The information below refers to materials used for body jewellery from The Wildcat Collection only. Other manufacturers do not necessarily use the same grade or quality of materials. Be sure to ask your piercer for specifics on the materials he/she uses.
GRADE 2 IMPLANTATION STEEL
Although many larger-gauge items are made of 316L Stainless Steel, Wildcat uses Grade 2 (British Composition D) Implantation steel for all jewellery that is most commonly used for fresh piercings (18, 16, and 14 gauge Ball Closure Rings and barbells). This grade of steel has lower levels of Carbon, Nickel, and Molybdenum than 316L steel. In the studio, we have found that using Grade 2 Implantation Steel jewellery for fresh piercings significantly reduces the incidents of redness of the skin immediately after a piercing. This is extremely important for facial piercings.
In addition, jewellery from The Wildcat Collection goes through a process called Electropolishing. This process slowly erodes a thin surface layer from the jewellery - high spots or protrusions are removed preferentially, and the resultant surface is extremely smooth and crevice-free. This reduces the possibility of bacteria forming in microscopic crevices, and also reduces the risk of rejection.
Unlike surgical steel and other implantation alloys, Niobium is a pure element which can not be subdivided into further components. It is hypoallergenic (unlikely to cause an allergic response), and as a reactive metal, can be "colored" through the process of anodization which produces a thin surface oxide layer. By reflection and refraction, this transparent oxide layer gives the illusion of colour. No dyes are used, and the oxide layer is completely safe.
As with steel, there are many different titanium alloy combinations, and not all are safe or suitable for body piercing application. All Wildcat titanium jewellery is Grade 23 (Ti 6AL 4V ELI) - one of only three titanium alloys recognized by the American Society for Testing of Materials (ASTM). An "F" prefix granted by the ASTM (F-136) indicates FDA consent for use in medical devices - NO HIGHER QUALIFICATION CURRENTLY EXISTS.
The oxide film on Grade 23 titanium is almost three times thicker than that of Grade 1 titanium. This film acts as a barrier to prevent the release of alloying elements, and makes the jewellery resistant to corrosion. Wildcat applies a chemical etch to all G23Ti items which enhances and extends the life of anodized colours. This formula is the oxide of titanium and is safe for body implantation. Because titanium has a high affinity for oxygen, the surface oxide film heals itself instantly if it is damaged.