What’s the difference between vertical and horizontal autoclaves?

What’s the difference between vertical and horizontal autoclaves?

The simple way to identify the difference between a vertical autoclave and a horizontal autoclave is to look at the orientation of the chamber door which forms the seal for the pressure vessel.

A horizontal autoclave will have a door which opens outwards towards you. At Astell we refer to these as ‘front loading autoclaves’. These are available in sizes starting at 33 litres chamber capacity (in our Benchtop range), going up to 344 litres for the largest of the ‘Swiftlock’ range. Astell SQUARE range autoclaves also have a horizontal chamber, all with an integral sliding door. Benefits of a horizontal front loading design include easy loading access due to the chamber position and a wide range of sizes from which to choose.

A vertical autoclave can be referred to as a ‘top loading autoclave’, as the chamber door pivots upwards to allow access to the chamber beneath. Astell produces four different sizes of this type ranging from 63 litres in capacity up to 135 litres. All are fitted with castor wheels as standard making them easy to move, and more ‘portable’ than the often bulkier horizontal chamber units. We regularly see top loading sterilizers chosen for liquid or glassware loads as we can provide perfect-fit wire baskets or Morrison containers which maximise the use of available chamber space. To make lifting heavy loads easier, an electric hoist can be fitted as an option. This raises and lowers items up to 40kg in weight.

It is possible to sterilise a wide variety of loads in both horizontal and vertical autoclaves with selected options fitted to them. In all but the smallest chamber sizes it is usually possible to add an integral steam generator for more efficient steam production, and a heated jacket and advanced vacuum for enhanced drying of porous or mixed discard loads. All Astell autoclaves are fitted with modern PLC controllers which feature colour touchscreens giving live cycle information and the ability to customise cycle programs and security settings to individual user requirements.

In order to help you choose your next autoclave, why not take a look at our Product Finder. This allows you to narrow your search by selecting load, size and steam source. Alternatively Contact us to talk to a sales representative and benefit from our many years of experience.

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