Celebrating 20 Years of Business!


What Are The Primary Parts Of An Autoclave?

March 31st, 2021
What Are The Primary Parts Of An Autoclave?

All autoclaves, whether they are large or small are similar machines having one purpose in common: to sterilize the parts or equipment that is place inside of them for the purporse of sterilization and sanitization. There are different brands, different configurations, and different pieces, but they all work in similar way, creating steam and heat to sterilize materials placed inside. Most autoclaves have several primary parts in common althought there are some minor differences between them. Here are the most important parts that will be found in all autoclaves:


The vessel is most commonly made from stainless steel; the bulk of the machine is encapsulated within it.


This is where temperature, time, and other instructions are inputted. Typically, this consists of dials, buttons—and on most modern models, digital interfaces.


A door allows the good to be placed inside the chamber. The door will contain a seal and a lock for safe operation.


The chamber is the area in which the materials are placed; it is surrounded by the jacket and typically contains a removable tray, rack, or shelf.


The jacket surrounds the chamber. The best quality jackets ensure quick, uniform heating.

Safety Valve

The chamber and jacket should both contain a pressure-relief valve to operate as a failsafe and keep the internal pressure within the safe operational threshold for the machine.

Vacuum System

Most modern autoclaves are equipped with a vacuum system for a pre- and post-cycle purge. This purge ensures that no pockets of unsterilized air can remain in the chamber before the cycle begins and helps to dry the goods by removing the steam after the cycle ends.

Steam Generator

The steam is provided to some autoclaves via the building’s central source, but some sterilizers are equipped with an electric steam generator or a steam-to-steam generator.

Wastewater Cooling System

It is standard for steam sterilizers to contain a system where outgoing steam is condensed and cooled—thereby preventing any damage to the output drain/pipes.

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.