Autoclaves - application possibilities
There are many application possibilities for our autoclaves manufactured by Systec, SANOclav or CertoClav. Autoclaves are predominantly used in research, development, industrial and production laboratories, whereby depending on the sterilisation method, quantity and size of the contaminated material a choice can be made between various sterilisers. Sterilisers are primarily use to kill pathogens and germs on instrument, working tools, containers or dressings, while laboratories use sterilisers to produce culture media. The most reliable method of sterilisation is sterilisation using saturated, high-pressure steam. Such sterilisers are also known as steam sterilisers or autoclaves and are mainly used in medicine, microbiology, biotechnology, pharmaceutical processes, the health service, food industry and materials testing. Steam sterilisers are often used to autoclave devices, instruments, auxiliary equipment such as glass and Erlenmeyer flasks or Petri dishes. Additionally, they are used for residue and waste sterilisation as well as for the preparation of nutrient media. In the field of medicine, for example, autoclaves are used to sterilise surgical instruments or to disinfect other utensils. For hospitals special autoclaves are available which can quickly deal with a large quantity of material for sterilisation. Indispensable in every laboratory are steam sterilisers in the form of compact table-top autoclaves which can be rapidly set up directly at the workplace on the laboratory bench. Sterilisers, laboratory and mini autoclaves are also suitable for use in pharmacies, medical and dental practices, tattoo and piercing studios as well as for the sterilisation of baby bottles, household and kitchen equipment. We would be happy to advise you when selecting which autoclave is most suitable for your needs. For this please use our contact form or simply call us on: +49(0)3338 - 7510456.
Autoclave - functional principle
In an autoclave materials are sterilised by saturated steam in a quick-lock pressurised aluminium or stainless steel container. As autoclaves operate with moist heat and pressure, the temperatures and times required for reliable sterilisation lower and shorter than with hot-air sterilisation. In contrast to steam sterilisers, hot-air sterilisers are only suitable for the sterilisation of instruments and exclusively operate with dry heat, reaching very high temperatures of up to 250°C which many synthetic materials or waste products cannot withstand. During steam sterilisation a pressure of 1-3 bars and a temperature of around 115° to 140°C is attained in the interior of an autoclave, which thus also allows heat-sensitive articles, such as dressings, textiles and plastics to be sterilised in an autoclave. The sterilisation cycle in a autoclave is divided into four stages - the rise time in which the air is removed in the interior of the autoclave and replaced with steam; the equalisation period in which the material to be sterilised reaches the required temperature; the sterilisation phase, the duration of which depends on the sterilisation temperature, the type of autoclave and degree of contamination, and the cooling phase which starts after sterilisation and marks the end of the autoclaving cycle. Autoclaving at 121°C for 15 minute is considered as standard for steam sterilisers. As a rule the entire operating time of steam sterilisers is 20 to 45 minutes. In order to guarantee that the autoclave is functioning correctly the quality and quantity of the filled water as well as the steam sterilisers themselves should be subject to regular functional tests.
Autoclaves - classes
Autoclaves are available is a variety of sizes and models to suit the particular area of application, method, design and usage volume. We currently supply autoclaves with a volume ranging from 5 to 200 litres, which come in the form of horizontal, vertical and pass-through autoclaves as well as media preparators. According to the EN 13060 standard relating to steam sterilisation with small autoclaves, autoclaves are divided into three categories, namely class B, S & N autoclaves, to which three different types of sterilisation method and cycles can be assigned.
Class B autoclave: class B autoclaves are subject to the highest requirements and are predominantly used for autoclaving in medical, research and development laboratories, as well as in industry and hospitals. Steam sterilisers in this class are able to sterilise both packaged and unpackaged articles, long instruments, solid bodies, hollow and porous materials. Type B sterilisers which have a fractionated pre-vacuum are suitable for the sterilisation of medical products, surgical instruments, utensils, flasks, fluids (nutrient media) and waste, whereby most type B autoclaves can also be directly connected to a computer via interfaces available on the steam sterilisers and can therefore record the sterilisation process data.
Class S autoclave: class S autoclave are steam sterilisers which usually have a simple pre- and post-vacuum and are used in research and medical laboratories, in hospitals and practices. Steam sterilisation with a pre-vacuum/pressurised process is suitable for the sterilisation of medical products, including unpackaged, solid devices and solid items such as scissors, forceps, certain hollow bodies and can also be used in medical practices at which no surgical procedures are performed.
Class N autoclave: class N autoclaves are steam sterilisers used exclusively for the sterilisation of solid products made of metal, porcelain, glass, textiles, dressing materials and temperature-resistant synthetic materials such a rubber or silicone. The gravitation or flow method of type N autoclaves is essentially only suitable for the sterilisation of solid products without hollow areas, unpackaged instruments, devices and sterile articles for immediate use.
Laboratory autoclaves - accessories
Our autoclaves are distinguished by their robust design and long service life, as well as the possibility of replacing or adding individual components. Depending on the construction of the steam sterilisers, the manufacture and the material to be sterilised you can order various components and autoclave accessories such as sterilisation containers, safety valves, control units or various vessels. Our steriliser accessories range includes steam release cocks, sterilisation chambers, thermostats, thermometers and manometers, wire baskets, covers, housings as well as regulators, stands, grips, safety valves and securing holders for laboratory autoclaves. For checking steam sterilisers, various functional tests are available, such as Bowie-Dick test systems. By way of autoclave indicators you can ensure that your sterile material has actually been autoclaved. In in order to rule out subsequent contamination in the laboratory of items sterilised in the autoclaves special sterilisation packs and films are often used. Special adhesive tapes, films and paper for steam sterilisers are means which can be used for preparing the autoclaving of consumables. Available for cleaning the autoclaves are various utensils, such as special care agent, brushes and special steam steriliser cleaners.