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All About Steam Sterilizers

All About Steam Sterilizers

  • AltSource Sales

Trying to decide on an autoclave? Confused/not sure which one is right for you or your practice? With so many options, it can make the decision complicated. We comprised some valuable information and tips to help you:

Why steam sterilization?

Steam is very efficient when it comes to transferring heat, but air is not.  High temperatures are needed to destroy microbes by causing their cell walls to break down and coagulate.   The concept of using steam in an enclosed space to sterilize equipment has been around since 1679.  Two hundred years later, Charles Chamberland invented the autoclave, also referred to as the steam sterilizer. 

Autoclave uses

Many industries including food, dental, medical, salon, veterinary, and body art facilities require sterile goods for the safety of their customers.  Stainless steel, borosilicate glass, and polypropylene (PP) and polycarbonate (PC) plastics can be sterilized with steam.  Items that cannot be autoclaved include phenol, trizol Polystyrene (PS), polyethylene (PE), and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastics, and household glassware.

Sterilization phases

Autoclaves typically have three phases of the sterilization cycle.  During the purge phase, steam flows through the sterilizer to displace the air and cause a continuous flow.  The exposure phase is determined by the cycle type to control the desired temperature and length of time needed to sterilize the goods.  Generally speaking, the sterilizer must maintain a temperature of 121 degrees Celsius for thirty minutes with 15 psi of pressure to be effective.  Once the time and temperature requirements have been met, the exhaust phase begins and pressure is released through the exhaust valve. 

Autoclaves are how big?

Steam sterilizers come in all shapes and sizes.  Many of the autoclaves we sell start at over 50lbs.  Be sure that the chamber and shelving units are big enough to handle the materials you wish to sterilize.  Adequate countertop/table space will also be needed as these units tend to take up a lot of space.

New or Refurbished?

Manufacturers like Midmark and Tuttanauer offer one-year warranties on their new autoclaves.  By default, our refurbished autoclaves come with a 90-day warranty with an option up upgrading to one year of worry-free coverage.  For the same peace of mind and a lot less money, it’s worth looking into refurbished autoclaves.

 

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