Key questions to ask when buying a new autoclave - Sterilizer heating methods

Key questions to ask when buying a new autoclave - Sterilizer heating methods

Part four of five in a series looking at the considerations and options when choosing an autoclave.

Which autoclave heating method is best?

Part four of our series looks at autoclave heating methods. There are three possible sources of steam supply to your autoclave. However once you have established the load, its Capacity and cycle time and defined a suitable chamber type, you may find the steam source options reduce.

The simplest way to generate steam for sterilization is using heaters in the chamber. This means filling the pressure vessel with a quantity to water (either manually or via an optional ‘Autofill’ system) and heating it from within to produce steam. This method is the standard configuration fitted to all Astell circular and some square section models. It is not suitable for loads that need to be touch-dry upon completion of the cycle (see What does the load contain), such as surgical packs, animal bedding and other fabrics.

The use of an integral steam generator removes the requirement of having water and heater elements present in the pressure chamber. In this case a mains water supply is connected to an integrated steam generator unit fitted within the autoclave and steam enters the chamber directly. This gives improved control over steam production.

Astell also manufacture stand-alone steam generator units to provide the necessary steam supply for larger autoclaves or Effluent Decontamination Systems, or for laboratories or facilities that require a central steam source to power multiple pieces of equipment.

Finally, where establishments have a direct steam source available, Astell can offer most autoclave models tailored to suit, so that the autoclave is connected directly to the available in-house supply.

At Astell we want you to find the right autoclave, so we offer no obligation advice based on years of experience. Whatever the industry or sterilization requirement, please Contact us to with any questions.