An autoclave is used to sterilize medical, laboratory, dental surgical equipment and other items, whether solids, liquids or instruments of various shapes and sizes. Autoclaves vary in size and functionality, being likened to a pressure cooker because they make use of steam to kill bacteria and germs resistant to powerful detergents.
An autoclave is a steel vessel where steam is circulated to sterilize things
Coping with Infection Control
The people who use autoclaves are the medical industry, veterinarians, dentists and even tattoo artists. Autoclave and sterilizer are the same thing, the only real difference being that autoclave is a term associated with laboratories while sterilizer is more commonly linked with medical applications. So how does an autoclave work?
An effective autoclave must contain dry saturated steam, and this is achieved by removing air from the load and the chamber. Air leaves through a vent as steam enters the chamber. It is important to remove all trapped air from the autoclave because trapped air is a poor medium in reaching perfect sterilization conditions. The vent then closes when all of the air is removed from the chamber. There is a method known as ‘free steaming’, when the vent stays open for a specified time, allowing the turbulent steam to pass through the vent and forcing trapped air out of the autoclave.
Steam as the Sterilizing Agent
The autoclave is an integral part of the medical industry and for instance in a veterinary practice, it is used to cope with infection control. They use steam as the sterilizing agent to completely sterilize surgical and non-surgical instruments which is safe and effective. The additional pressure in an autoclave means that the water will boil at temperatures which are far higher than its regular boiling point, killing microbes more effectively.
The exact sterilizing time will depend on a number of factors such as the contamination levels of the items being autoclaved and also how the autoclave is loaded up. Since you’re using high-pressure, high-temperature steam, users of autoclaves need to be careful when opening the autoclave to ensure there isn’t a sudden release of pressure that could cause a dangerous steam explosion.
Autoclaves Meet Strict Sterilization Criteria
An autoclave with its different chamber sizes, sterilizes through high-pressure steam with temperatures above 121º. Autoclaving is important because it protects users and their clients from bacterial infections in all industries where health regulations stipulate strict sterilization procedures.