- 1 Autoclaves For Sale
- 2 What Does An Autoclave Do?
- 3 Autoclave Uses
- 4 Autoclave Sterilization
- 5 Autoclave Temperatures
- 6 Medical Autoclaves
- 7 Laboratory Autoclaves
- 8 Maintenance Of Autoclaves
- 9 How Much Does An Autoclave Cost?
This is our section about autoclaves and we offer laboratory autoclaves as well as dental autoclaves. The autoclaves are sorted with increasing prices further down the page and if you are looking for a used autoclave for sale, simply scroll down to and click the destined link.
Autoclaves For Sale
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What Does An Autoclave Do?
In medical applications autoclaves are used to sterilize equipment, liquids & biohazards; and in the chemical industry are used hydrothermal synthesis, vulcanization of rubber and curing coatings. Autoclave sterilization ensures complete destruction of microorganisms and are more effective than the use of chemical sterilizers especially in a laboratory environment. The use of a lab autoclave often requires proper handling and training because it is potentially dangerous. Also, improper use may lead to damaging of the machine which is usually very costly to repair.
Technology advancements have led to development of highly specialized sterilizer autoclaves for both small and large scale applications. These machines feature a wide range of autoclaving procedures including multiple steam generation and cooling options. The type of autoclave used depends on the type of load to be sterilized (liquid or solid; waste etc), the load frequency and the size of the load.
How Does An Autoclave Work?
The autoclave steam sterilizer system is basically a pressure system that works by subjecting the equipment to steam and pressure at temperatures high enough to destroy dangerous microorganisms and their spores (even the most resistant). The autoclave principle works similar to a household pressure cooker. They ensure that the desired physical properties of products are repeatable.
The autoclave process begins with pushing of steam into the autoclave chamber where the supplies to be sterilized are placed. Caution should be taken to ensure removal of trapped air prior to activation of the autoclave machine. Autoclave bags should always be placed in a rigid container to prevent them from breaking. Trapped air can interfere with pressure levels and therefore hinder complete sterilization. The temperature and pressure within the chamber are increased as the steam goes in. Autoclave pressure and temperature are designed to continue rising up to at least 1210°C and retained at that level for a period of time long enough to destroy any microorganisms. After this period, the temperature and pressure is gradually released over a certain length of time depending on the type of sterilization required. Items can be removed once they have completely cooled. All indicators must be checked before unloading the autoclave to ensure the cycle was completed.
Always check to verify whether materials to be sterilized are compatible with the particular sterilizer autoclave. Laboratory autoclaves can be used to sterilize almost everything including waste except:
– Volatile and flammable liquids
– Items containing corrosives like phenols, acids or bases. This might damage the chambers.
– Items containing radioactive materials
– Liquids that contain formalin, bleach or glutaraldehyde.
The autoclave sterilization processes are used largely in fields like dentistry, microbiology, tattooing, mycology, medicine, fabrication of prosthetics, veterinary, podiatry among others. The most widespread use is in medicine where an autoclave is used to sterilize surgical equipment because it is the ideal standard. It is also used decontaminate potentially hazardous waste before it is disposed via the normal channels. Standard procedure requires that every medical facility is required to have one. Though a lot of facilities now employ single-use equipment, autoclaving is still paramount to medical procedures. Frequently autoclaved medical equipment includes scrapers, scopes and speculums. In laboratories they sterilize glassware, culture media and equipment used. Vacuum autoclaves are used in dentistry to sterilize dental equipment as per the set health standards.
Steam is more effective in sterilization than dry hot air. 1600°C hot air achieves sterility in 2hrs while 1300°C of steam achieves the same result in 3 minutes. Dry air suffers from lower heat transfers. The temperatures can be set at different levels for various applications. A dental autoclave sterilizer is often set at about 150-180 degrees for 2 hrs, after which the equipment can be stored appropriately for the next use. Microorganisms get more active as temperatures rise but eventually die at 800°C. Though most microorganisms can be destroyed at 1210°C in typical steam autoclaves, a few species are known to be indestructible. The deactivation of Prions for instance requires much higher temperatures and longer time. The California Department of Public Health set parameters for the disinfection of medical waste are 30 minutes at 121-124°C (250-255°F) and 15 psi.
There are indicators that can be used to ensure that the autoclave reaches the required pressure, temperature and time. An autoclave tape can be used as a physical indicator to show when the correct conditions have been met. Some physical indicators also might also consist of an alloy that is designed to melt after being subjected to a specified temperature for the relevant length of time. The change is visible when the alloy melts. Physical indicators are commonly found on the autoclave bag.
Chemical indicators are designed to certify that a product has undergone the right conditions of a minimum temperature cycle. Biological indicators are used to prove sterility. These indicators contain heat resistant bacteria spores which when incubated will germinate if the minimum conditions were not met.
These are used on a regular basis and can even be utilized throughout the day. They also demand a frequent maintenance schedule and are highly resource consumptive. They were initially used for sterilizing hypodermic needles. Nowadays medical autoclaves are used in a number of sterilization procedures including decontamination of wastes prior to disposal.
Steam sterilization autoclaves are the best for medical applications because of all medical sterilizers, it is the most dependable. It is also non-toxic. The basic principle of a steam sterilizer autoclave is to expose each device to saturated steam at a required time length and temperature. Operating theaters commonly use onsite table top autoclaves. Most portable autoclaves are utilized in smaller outpatient clinics.
The minimum sterilizing conditions in a steam autoclave are temperatures of 132°C to 135°C and times of 3 to 4 minutes exposure time for instruments and porous loads. The two types of steam sterilizers are; 1. The gravity displacement autoclave. 2. The high-speed pre-vacuum sterilizer.
The gravity displacement autoclave admits steam from the top or the sides of the sterilizing chamber and forces air out the bottom of the chamber through a drain vent because the steam is lighter than air. This mechanism also ensures air removal through gravity. However, these systems suffer from prolonged steam penetration especially for porous materials because air is not completely expelled.
High speed pre-vacuum autoclaves on the other hand, are fitted with vacuum pumps that ensure complete air removal from the chamber before admission of steam. This makes penetration of steam almost instantaneous. Autoclave temperatures and times depend on load type.
Another category of medical autoclaves are the dental autoclaves. Dental sterilizers are often bench top autoclaves that can be easily moved for smaller sterilization procedures.
These are used to sterilize lab equipment, glassware and liquid media. They are designed for quality assurance processes and therefore allow high quality repeatable performance and documentation in lab applications. They are usually small autoclaves designed for lab spaces. In large scale lab applications like in pharmaceutical and biotechnological fields, larger autoclaves are employed (with chamber sizes going up to 10,000 litres). These are usually multi-purpose autoclaves. Recently, horizontal autoclaves have been the most preferred in pharmaceutical applications due to the shortened mixing time for dry material which is enhanced by the shape of the machine.
Industrial autoclave composite processes are most preferred as they produce denser void free molds.
Autoclave microbiology processes offer the best chances for repeating best results.
Autoclaves can also be categorized according to cycle types as shown:
Gravity cycle autoclaves – these are fast exhaust machines designed for sterilizing of bagged tools like scissors and scalpels.
Liquid cycle autoclaves – they are slow exhaust machines used for liquids and slow steam evacuation. Typically, liquids take longer to heat or cool than other media.
Dry cycle autoclaves – these are ideal for dry goods such as plastics or glassware e.g., pipet tips. The minimum time for these is 20 minutes. This cycle is used for waste and items that must be dried with minimal condensation.
Maintenance Of Autoclaves
All autoclaves require scheduled maintenance according to manufacturer’s instructions. Well maintained machines ensure effective and safe use. Any faults with the autoclave should be immediately attended to. All parts that require repair should be safely decontaminated before they are delivered to the maintenance shops. The chamber should always be presumed to be contaminated and should therefore be handled according to the safety guidelines.
While using the autoclave, always ensure that the load is free from debris or any organic tissue. Ensure to use indicators in all sterilization cycles to verify whether all parameters are in good condition. Autoclaves for sale always have an operator and maintenance manual. Always adhere to the laid down loading and unloading procedures. It is ideal to perform a weekly biological live spore test to ensure sterility of the unit. Inspection of any broken parts should be done at least monthly to reduce extensive wear which might end up costing a fortune to repair. For autoclave parts that need replacement, always source from reputable companies. The autoclave also requires annual inspection, testing and calibration to keep it in sound condition.
Choosing The Right Autoclave Sterilizer
There are several things one needs to consider when choosing autoclaves and sterilizers. The most important consideration is the autoclave uses. This should also help to determine the size of items to be autoclaved and the frequency of the autoclaving procedures. For smaller lab operations, small autoclaves would be sufficient. For example tattoo autoclaves are much smaller and cheaper than medical sterilizers. An industrial autoclave will always be larger and multipurpose due to the size of items to be sterilized. Ensure to purchase from accredited autoclave manufacturers. Also make sure to get the right autoclave equipment as per the manufacturers’ guidelines. Tuttnauer is an internationally acclaimed autoclave manufacturer that offers a wide range of scientific autoclaves. Tuttnauer autoclaves include small autoclave sterilizers to industrial scale large autoclaves. Various manufacturers and suppliers also offer different autoclave prices.
An autoclave machine price depends on its size and the number of features it offers. Autoclave costs also depend on whether the machine is new or used. Cheap autoclaves are often used. If the budget is a bit tight you might consider purchasing used autoclave sterilizers. Used autoclaves for sale are often supplied by second hand lab equipment dealers. The rule of thumb is to first conduct an autoclave test to ensure it is in sound working state. Take note of all erroneous operations to avoid getting ripped off. However, note that this will not have a warranty once it malfunctions. Used autoclave equipment can be purchased where the operations are not so critical. An autoclaver can also be selected on the basis of the space available.
When set to buy autoclaves consider the availability of parts. The replacement parts should be easily available to save on costs and time. Stainless steel autoclaves are easier to clean and are more durable.
An autoclave vacuum is an essential part of the autoclave procedure. Every sterilizer machine requires a mechanism for expelling air before the sterilization process begins. Large autoclaves for sale often have an integrated vacuuming system. The autoclave price will be higher if the machine has more vacuuming and cooling options. The autoclave design determines the penetration time for items to be sterilized. Steam autoclaves are ideal for medical facilities. The autoclave steam offers the most reliable sterilization for medical grade procedures. Medical sterilizers for sale are more expensive than most autoclave machines. The overall cost of autoclaves is reflected in its purchasing price, operating and utility costs. Some autoclaves are not designed for energy efficiency. High pressure autoclaves are used in industrial applications. An industrial autoclave for sale requires more capital investment and subsequent operational costs are higher.
How Much Does An Autoclave Cost?
A small autoclave sterilizer might range from as low as $150 but it could cost more if it has energy efficiency features. An autoclaved used for smaller scale operations is cheaper. Browse catalogues from various suppliers to determine what suits the budget at hand. Bulk autoclave purchases reflect a lower cost per unit.