Autoclave systems are used for the sterilization of items by means of pressure and steam at high temperatures. Sterilization is reached over a period of time that the items are exposed to the steam. Autoclave systems can be very useful for many industries. However, it is important to keep in mind that not everything can be sterilized by an autoclave. Find out more about how autoclaves are used and what materials are acceptable and unacceptable for its use.
Common Industries in which Autoclave Systems are Used
Autoclave systems are most commonly known for being used in a hospital or medical settings. The equipment used in medical facilities must always be sterilized and safe for use, but they can’t get that way by washing with soap and water. The sterilization process reached through an autoclave system keeps the medical equipment and tools needed for healthcare safe to use on patients. Likewise, veterinarians, dentists, and other medical professionals can also utilize autoclave systems for sterilizing their equipment. Another industry that benefits from autoclave systems is tattoo and body piercing professionals.
Those tools also need to be sterilized. Biologists can also use autoclave systems to further their research. When studying anything, it is important to start with a clean slate, which can be accomplished through autoclaves. Other materials that are not commonly thought of as being used in an autoclave would be medical or hazardous waste materials. Bedding, gloves, or other materials that are often used in hospital settings are carriers of bacteria and microorganisms. Instead of disposing of them right away, an autoclave system can help get rid of some of the microorganisms and improve waste conditions.
Acceptable and Unacceptable Materials for Autoclaves
Medical tools and other equipment that needs to be sterilized are acceptable materials to use within an autoclave, but there are some materials that are not acceptable. While this is not a complete list of those materials, it is a good start. The following are some of the materials that are acceptable to use in an autoclave system: glass, bedding, stainless steel, culture flasks and other biological research instruments, media solutions, waste, pipette tips, surgical instruments, and gloves.
The following are some of the materials that are not to be used within an autoclave system: chlorine, bleach, non-stainless steel, saltwater and seawater, low or high-density polyethylene, polyurethane, liquids, polyethylene, sulfates, and chlorides. And while it should go without saying, any materials that are flammable or corrosive should never be placed in an autoclave system for safety reasons.