What is an Autoclave?

An autoclave, also known as a sterilizer is a piece of equipment that is used to sterilize various instruments, as well as solids and liquids, including biological waste matter.  Autoclaves are frequently used in industrial settings, medical/dental facilities and laboratories, as well as public facilities including aesthetic salons, tattoo parlors, and veterinary practices.  Autoclaves are used chiefly for sanitary and quality control purposes to prevent contamination by bacteria, spores and other micro-organisms, some of which may be resistant to detergents and other sterilizing solutions.  Due to the wide range of applications, autoclaves vary in shape, size, and functionality, however, the basic mechanism of using high heat, steam under high pressure is fundamentally similar.

How Autoclaves Work

Items that are meant to be sterilized are placed within the autoclave’s sealed chamber and are subjected to high pressure steam (ranging from 105-135°C) for a given amount of time.  Autoclaves are designed to allow heat and pressure to build within the chamber and are equipped with safety mechanisms to contain and release pressure to maintain safe levels.  Autoclaves are usually equipped with temperature and timer controls to allow users to set the proper setting for any given autoclaving application.

Tomy SX-Series Autoclave Sterilizer

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