Access to a functional autoclave is vital to the cleanliness and success of many businesses. If you need an autoclave to sterilize items that are used for multiple customers throughout the day, you may be wondering which type of autoclave is best suited to meet your needs.
All autoclaves perform the same basic functions. High-temperature steam is distributed throughout the autoclave chamber and pressure allows this steam to displace ambient air. Any potentially harmful pathogens are also dispelled along with the ambient air.
Your autoclave needs to be tailored to your company’s unique needs if you want to maximize the sterilization capabilities an autoclave offers.
1. Autoclave Media
The deciding factor when selecting an autoclave for your business will be the type of media that you need to sterilize on a regular basis.
Gravity autoclaves are basic in their design and function. You can utilize a gravity autoclave to successfully sterilize most non-porous materials. These materials can include metals, glassware, and any unwrapped goods that may have inadvertently been contaminated.
A vacuum autoclave is a bit more advanced, but the benefits this type of machine offers are similar to those offered by a gravity autoclave.
You will need a vacuum autoclave if the materials you are sterilizing can be classified as porous. Common porous materials that are processed through an autoclave include tablecloths, bedding, and clothing that has been used in a contaminated environment.
A vacuum autoclave will completely eliminate all ambient air inside the processing chamber. The high-temperature steam will replace ambient air inside the folds, wrinkles, and crevices of any porous material, ensuring that all pathogens are completely eliminated.
Identify the types of autoclave media you will be sterilizing, then select a machine with the ability to process that type of media with ease.
2. Throughput Capacity
Another important factor that you will need to consider when investing in a new autoclave is the throughput capacity of the machine. Autoclaves vary in their size and design. Some machines are small and made to fit on a countertop. Others are much larger and require a dedicated room for proper operation.
The throughput capacity of each autoclave should be compared against your sterilization needs before you make a final decision. Throughput capacity is calculated by determining the volume of media that can be sterilized during each cycle and multiplying this by the number of cycles the autoclave can complete in a day.
Invest in an autoclave with a throughout capacity that exceeds your demand so that your company will have room to expand without outgrowing your existing machine.
3. Geographic Region
The geographic area in which you do business should also play a role in the selection of your new autoclave. Pay particular attention to your current elevation. A gravity autoclave may be a better option for companies doing business at high altitudes.
The relationship between pressure and heat will remain constant within the chamber of a gravity autoclave. This consistency can help overcome any differences that might exist in boiling points at varying altitudes.
If you operate in an area where humidity levels are high, you may also want to consider the self-regulating benefits a gravity autoclave can offer.
You should asses a few different factors before you can identify the autoclave that is best suited to meet your sterilization needs. Factors affecting performance (like throughput capacity and chamber size) should be addressed, but you will also need to consider any factors that might affect your company’s bottom line (like longevity and maintenance costs).
If you are looking to purchase a new autoclave, contact Revolutionary Science. We can help you identify the machine that will offer you a balance between sterilization capability and cost.