Frequently asked questions

Models that need to be installed (i.e. this excludes compact and benchtop units) should be connected to a vented drain, which will eliminate the possibility of back-flow.

Simple vacuum will improve air removal from discard loads (in comparison with freesteaming), although the most efficient form of air removal is Advanced (pulsed) vacuum.

Yes, although care should be taken to ensure that the autoclave is not overfilled, since this may prevent efficient air removal.

BSL3 is generally hazardous waste containing pathogens that are potentially harmful. Further details can be provided on request.

The Classic and Autofill Compact and Benchtop autoclaves can be used for small quantities of non-hazardous discard. For larger, difficult loads a vacuum system is beneficial. If BSL3 (Cat3)   waste is being sterilized, a heated jacket in addition to vacuum, would be recommended, since this ensures improved temperature distribution within the chamber. 12 point validation to a recognised standard is recommended to ensure that all parts of the load are being sterilized.

Operator specific cycles can be provided on request. Please contact Astell for further details.

Up to 5,000 cycles can be stored, although this may vary depending on cycle parameters.

The Astell controller allows the programming of at least 50 different cycles.

Freesteaming involves 'air purging', where air is effectively 'driven' from the chamber & load using turbulent steam. Pre-vacuum withdraws air from the chamber using a vacuum pump.

Yes, a media melting/warming cycle is available.

No, the holdwarm system is dependent on the remaining water in the chamber being held at a constant temperature. If an autoclave has a steam generator little or no water remains in the end of the cycle.

If the water supply is relatively hard (<50ppm) a Water Softener would be advisable. This is particularly critical for units with a steam generator, where any build up of scale will not be visible, and the first sign of unsuitable water may be heater failure.

An autoclave without an Autofill system will need to be manually filled before each cycle. However, please note that in normal circumstances some water will remain in the chamber at the end of each cycle, so the water required to reach the minimum level will be relatively small. Note: The latter applies only to autoclaves with heaters in the chamber; an autoclave fitted with a steam generator will fill automatically (and therefore will require a water supply).

Air Ballast reduces the risk of bottled fluids boiling over when an efficient cooling system (e.g. water jacket cooling) causes a sudden change in pressure within the autoclave chamber. Therefore when an autoclave is fitted with air ballast the cooling stage can be implemented earlier; this will mean that improved cooling times can be achieved.

A dry discard cycle is intended for the sterilization of waste loads that contain little or no liquid. Often these will consist of petri dishes, and other plastic containers etc. that require decontamination prior to disposal

Pipettes and textiles can be sterilized in any autoclave. However, in most cases these products will need to be dry at the end of the cycle, and for this an Advanced Vacuum and Heated Jacket will be necessary.

Cycle times are very much dependent on the size and nature of the load being sterilized. However, for identical loads, an Autofill unit will have a slightly (up to 15%) faster cycle time than a Classic unit. This is because with the Autofill version the hot water is ejected from the chamber after sterilization, whilst with the Classic unit, the water remains.