Autoclave systems are used to sterilize many things, not just medical equipment as some might think. They can be used to sterilize equipment for dental work, body piercing, biologist and much more. The autoclave system uses steam and pressure to kill bacteria and pathogens so that the items come out clean and safe for additional use. The temperature within the autoclave system reaches high temperatures up to 132 degrees Celsius throughout the cleaning process. The high temperature of the steam will work to kill all of the bacteria and microbes on the items and sterilize them to be used again. This article will focus on how the autoclave systems work to sterilize the items within the chamber.
The Setup of the Systems
There are many parts to the autoclave system. The system consists of a cylinder in which the items are placed within, called the chamber. The chamber tends to be shaped as a cylinder for purposes of the high pressure, as cylinders are less likely to succumb to high pressure and steam. Once the items are inside the chamber, the chamber is locked. The autoclave system also has a vacuum pump and a safety valve that helps to regulate the temperature and pressure of the steam being used to prevent overheating. Because of the high temperatures and pressure being used within the autoclave system, it does the very best job in cleaning all of the objects and materials inside.
How it all Works
Now that you know the working parts, it is important to understand the actual process and how it all comes together to work towards sterilization. As stated above, once the items are placed inside the chamber, the chamber is locked. Once locked, the vacuum pump then works to suck all of the air out of the chamber and the pressure from the steam entering the chamber also helps to push the air out as well.
The autoclave will have to first reach a certain temperature before the timer actually begins to start the sterilization of the objects. This temperature is important. If you start the timer prior to reaching the sterilization temperature, the item will not be effectively and fully sterilized. The steam continuously covers the items so that it can effectively kill all of the bacteria and microbes and at the designated time the steam is released from the chamber and the chamber can be opened and the items removed and ready for use.