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How to load an autoclave

How to load an autoclave
21/09/2017

Loading an autoclave correctly not only ensures the complete sterilization of its contents but also helps to maintain operational efficiency.

Autoclaves come in many sizes; however there are typically only two chamber types, circular and square section. Circular pressure vessels are generally less costly to produce but have less internal ‘useable’ space than equivalent square chamber models. Astell manufactures circular chamber autoclaves up to a capacity of 344 litres and a SQUARE range in sizes of 125 litres up to 2000 litres, which are suited to bigger loads and bulky items.

The primary reason for ensuring that any autoclave is loaded in a correct manner is to allow for adequate steam penetration throughout the load. Good steam penetration ensures maximum heat energy exchange at the point of contact with the load.

It is also imperative that each individual process cycle is set up with relevance to the type of load placed inside the autoclave, and that this process allows for all air contained within the vessel as the door is closed to be purged during the build-up to the sterilization process. Removal of all air from the steam (along with good cycle program set-up) ensures consistency in temperature, promotes good penetration and aids a more thorough sterilization process.

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