Types of Autoclave that You Need to Know
- 21, Oct 2021 11:44
Autoclave is a closed heating device that is used to carry out the sterilization process of an object using steam at high temperature or pressure (about 1200 Celsius, 15 Ibs) which is carried out for approximately 15 minutes. Even though the autoclave has a high pressure, it will not kill the microorganisms in it, this high pressure aims to increase the temperature of the steam in the autoclave. When the steam temperature increases this will make the microorganisms killed / dead.
According to Wikipedia, an autoclave is a pressure chamber used to carry out industrial and scientific processes requiring elevated temperature and pressure in relation to ambient. Autoclaves are used in medical applications to perform sterilization and in the chemical industry to cure coatings and vulcanize rubber and for hydrothermal synthesis. Industrial autoclaves are used in industrial applications, especially in the manufacturing of composites.
Autoclave consists of two types based on the heat source, namely manual autoclave and electric autoclave. Manual autoclaves generate heat energy by using a fire or stove located at the bottom of the autoclave, while electric autoclaves use an electric source to generate heat energy. In conclusion, the use of an electric autoclave is simpler, easier, and does not take much time, because the source of heat generation is done automatically through electricity.
Meanwhile, based on its working system, autoclaves are generally classified into 3 types, such as:
Gravity Displacement Autoclave
The gravity displacement autoclave is the most standard and most commonly used type. This autoclave works by moving air based on gravity and works in a temperature range around 121-134 Celsius degrees in about 10-30 minutes. The gravity displacement autoclave utilized the difference between the density of steam and air.
The working process is by entering steam through the top of the autoclave. This process will cause the air to be compressed to the bottom, and the mass of steam in the autoclave will be more than the mass of air. The difference of the mass amount causes the air to come out through the exhaust channel which is placed at the bottom of the autoclave. After the elimination of air, the temperature will increase and the sterilization process will occur.
Pre-vacuum or High Vacuum Autoclave
Pre-vacuum or high vacuum autoclave is a type of autoclave equipped with a pump that functions to evacuate or eliminate most of the air of autoclave, so that it will create a vacuum inside the autoclave, to create a vacuum it takes about 8-10 minutes. In contrast to the gravity displacement autoclave, which must press the air out, the high vacuum autoclave will remove all the air first, then the steam will be put into the autoclave.
The air vacuum will allow the steam to directly come into contact with the entire surface of the objects in the autoclave and cause an increase in temperature and the sterilization process will occur. The sterilization process with a high vacuum autoclave occurs in a fast and short time, which is about 3-4 minutes with a temperature range around 132-135 Celsius degree.
Steam-Flush or Pressure-Pulse Autoclave
Steam-flush or pressure-pulse autoclaves work by using repeated steam and atmospheric pressure thrusts. The duration of the sterilization process with this type of autoclave will depend on the type of object to be sterilized.
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