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How Does an Autoclave Machine Work?


Autoclave machines are found in laboratories, hospitals, and other environments that require sterility. They work by heating water until it boils before creating steam within an enclosed chamber to sterilize it. Obtain the Best information about اتوکلاو دندانپزشکی.

Pressurizing the chamber, items are exposed to steam for an indeterminate period before it’s released and vented out – and so the cycle concludes.


Autoclaves sterilize items using steam. This machine generates its steam by boiling water inside a sealed chamber, where its high temperatures kill bacteria by causing their proteins to destabilize and coagulate, rendering them non-functional. Furthermore, their high pressure increases heat transfer efficiency by helping penetrate steam into materials needing sterilization more quickly and efficiently.

Most autoclaves rely on house steam supplied from a central boiler and fed into the chamber through an electric heating element, but if house steam is unavailable, an autoclave may use an electric steam generator installed underneath its chamber that uses a series of heating elements to heat water before producing sterilizing steam.

Once an autoclave reaches its sterilization cycle settings (typically 121 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes), it enters its exposure phase, during which lab equipment remains exposed at this temperature until the cycle ends. Then, it passes to the exhaust phase, during which built-up pressure is released from within its chamber.

Laboratory staff must take great care in using an autoclave correctly. They must also use an external data logger such as the OM-CP-PRTEMP140, a high-temperature and pressure data logger designed specifically to validate, map, and pressurize processes like autoclaves. At under 64mm (2″) diameter, it fits easily into tight spots.


Autoclaves work on the principle of moist heat sterilization. A steel pressure vessel that reaches 15 PSI releases water at high pressure into its chamber, where it boils before coming in contact with materials within. Once sterilization has taken place, its pressure gradually returns down.

Since an autoclave is a high-pressure vessel, both temperature and pressure in its chamber must remain at their ideal levels for proper sterilization of its contents. Too low of pressure could not kill all bacteria, while too high of temperature could damage or melt away materials within its chamber.

To maintain these conditions, autoclaves must have a sturdy construction with numerous safety devices that monitor and control their operation. Physical, chemical, and biological indicators help ensure that temperature and pressure have reached and been held steady over a sufficient period.

An autoclave’s primary feature is its ability to evacuate air from its chamber quickly. Air removal methods vary depending on the material being processed; for dry materials like paper and plastic, an exhaust cycle with fast exhaust speed may work best, while liquid waste or biomedical waste requires slower exhaust cycles to avoid boiling over superheated steam.


An autoclave sterilizes items by subjecting them to high temperatures and pressure for an established duration in order to destroy microorganisms and bacteria that might exist on them. This process is known as steam sterilization or simply autoclaving.

Autoclaves utilize steam, temperature, and time to clean and sterilize laboratory equipment such as tools, supplies, media, and labware. Regulated medical waste that contains bacteria, viruses, or spores must also be sterilized prior to disposal to prevent the further spread of potentially hazardous contaminants.

Microorganisms need food, moisture, and the ideal temperature in order to thrive and reproduce. An autoclave can eliminate these threats through irreversible denaturing of their proteins – similar to how steam heats a kettle of water.

To achieve optimal sterilization conditions in an autoclave, four parameters must be fulfilled. These are:

Steam sterilization processes maintain an ideal temperature of 121 degrees Celsius at 15 pounds-force per square inch or psi for at least 30 minutes, which has been found to effectively kill most undesirable organisms such as fungi, bacteria, Archaea, and Protista.

Some autoclaves connect directly to a hospital or building’s steam supply, while others feature an inbuilt or stand-alone electric steam generator. Tuttnauer offers models with the capability of switching between a connected steam source and generator for added versatility – for instance if your building or hospital experiences a power outage during a cycle, you can still sterilize items with this type of autoclave!

Autoclave pressure vessels are usually constructed of stainless steel or gunmetal. Each one contains an inner chamber and outer case, with capacities ranging from 100L to 3000L. Autoclaves undergo hydrostatical testing and inspection before leaving their factory home, with each vessel carrying both an ASME nameplate and a National Board number to indicate authenticity.

An autoclave can be used with many materials, though certain must not be autoclaved under any circumstances. Examples include polypropylene, acrylic (an optically clear form of polyethylene), polycarbonate, and borosilicate glass, as these can all withstand autoclave temperatures, while polyethylene, styrene, polyvinyl chloride nylon, and high-density polyethylene lab ware are all non-autoclavable materials.

During the exposure phase, the sterilizer drain is closed off, and steam is continuously admitted into the chamber, quickly increasing temperature and pressure until they reach an exact target value. Once at this temperature level, loads are held there for an unspecified amount of time before exhaustion opens the drain valve to release steam back out, returning it to a more typical environment temperature.

Careless loading, operation, and unloading of autoclave vessels can result in burns and other accidents. A common culprit is accidentally trying to open or close the lid while an autoclave is operating when liquid-filled vessels are hot; otherwise, the glass may break under thermal stress stresses and cause serious injuries.