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The Role of Pressure in Autoclave Sterilization Equipment

The Role of Pressure in Autoclave Sterilization Equipment

Today we want to talk about pressure in autoclave sterilization and why it is important. In order to do that, we are going to first review what autoclaves are, and how they work. 

Autoclaves are the industry-standard device for sterilizing equipment and materials for business, medical offices, and laboratories. With the use of water, heat, steam, and pressure, autoclaves kill microorganisms within their closed environment. There are giant autoclaves that take up a whole room, small autoclaves that fit on a counter, and every size in between. 

The Role of Pressure 

A long time ago, it was discovered that wet heat sterilized wet objects more effectively than dry heat. The addition of pressure to the water, heat, and steam, accomplishes two things: First, it increases the temperature of the water and steam making it more effective at killing microorganisms; Second, it gives the steam more energy or force to get into nooks and crannies of equipment. 

Pressure is the reason why you can put odd shapes into an autoclave and all the exposed sides will be sterilized. The pressure forces the super-heated steam into all the little spaces. For example, you can put a test tube in an autoclave, and all sides will be equally sterilized. 

So, the addition of pressure to heat, water, and steam, makes the autoclave more effective and efficient at killing all kinds of microorganisms like spores that might be resistant to simple dry or wet heat. The autoclave is fast and efficient, and that is why it is the gold standard for sterilization. 

If you need help choosing, repairing, maintaining, installing, operating, or validating an autoclave, this is our business and area of expertise for many years. Give us a call, in western Canada at (888) 818-4847. We can help with every aspect of autoclaves including choosing the right one for you. 

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.