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Benefits of Free-Standing Autoclaves

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Autoclaves come in roughly two sizes: smaller ones for the counter or “benchtop” and free-standing or floor models. The advantages of free-standing autoclaves are simple: size and power.


A free-standing autoclave will have much more capacity for equipment sterilization. You can sterilize more material at one time. Depending on the volume of equipment needing sterilization, this can be more economic for you.


Because of its size, a free-standing autoclave may be more powerful and operate faster. Depending on the model you choose, the free-standing models may have more settings and give you more freedom.

What’s an autoclave?

Autoclaves are used to sterilize medical equipment, surgical items, laboratory instruments, and other materials. An autoclave can sterilize hollows, liquids, solids, and other instruments of different sizes and shapes.

Autoclaves are made with different functionalities, shapes, and sizes. A portable autoclave resembles a pressure cooker, which uses steam power to kill germs, spores, and bacteria.

How an autoclave works

An autoclave sterilizes laboratory or medical instruments by heating them above the boiling point. The use of steam is what makes this possible.

Most health centers have large free-standing autoclaves that look like giant ovens. Big hospitals use big autoclaves, also known as horizontal autoclaves.

Smaller businesses and smaller health centers use counter autoclaves that look like microwave ovens.

All autoclaves should be maintained, monitored, and designed to ensure the quantity, purity, and quality of the steam.

Autoclave steam quality

When transferring big quantities of energy to an object that requires sterilization, steam is considered to be the most powerful. Remember that steam propels trains and powers engines.

In free-standing autoclave sterilization, two things are needed. These include the capacity of non-condensable gases and the level of the moisture.

The right composition of steam in an autoclave is 97 percent gas and 3 percent liquid. Any change in the percentage of the moisture decreases or increases sterilization time.

One of the most notable benefits of steam autoclave sterilization is that it needs significantly less heat and time compared to a dry heat sterilizer because of steam’s capacity to transfer energy.

If you are shopping for a new free-standing autoclave, contact us. This is our business.

Alpha Scientific supplies, installs, and services medical equipment in western Canada. If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about medical equipment, please call our toll-free number, (888) 818-4847, or email us at sales@alphascientific.ca.