Buying Laboratory Autoclaves? Read this First!
Laboratory autoclaves are essential equipment that are used by thousands of laboratories around the globe. The autoclave is used to sterilize equipment using high pressure saturated steam. This is a procedure that lasts about 20 minutes and is dependent on the contents and load.
Planning on buying laboratory autoclaves?
Careful prior planning is essential before you purchase an autoclave since they are relatively costly. Furthermore, the autoclaves must be suited to your needs and the demands that the laboratory faces.
If you’re sterilizing huge bulky items, you’ll need an autoclave that has a high capacity rectangular chamber to meet your needs. Knowing the floor space of your laboratory is important because if you do not have enough space, the chamber door swing is going to cause issues.
If your lab is small, you’d want to get a laboratory autoclave that has a design which enables the door to lower and rise within the body of the autoclave itself. This will not require any additional space other than the space required to store the device.
You’ll also need to know what types of loads you will be sterilizing. Laboratories often sterilize a variety of loads such as glassware used in labs, surgical and medical instruments, other equipment and medical waste.
If you’re sterilizing both clean and dirty loads, you’ll need a laboratory autoclave that is capable of doing both. A very intelligent solution would be to get an autoclave that has two separate chambers. An excellent example is Astell’s Duaclave.
With an autoclave that has two chambers, you’ll have twice the capacity and be able to process clean loads which are often media and dirty loads such as medical waste. The fact that both chambers are vertically built means that you also save space.
You should always check the cycle time of a laboratory autoclave before buying it. Once again, this depends on the needs of the user. A dentist running a small private practice can have a small autoclave with a longer cycle time. A commercial lab with many jobs pending will be hard pressed for time.
A quicker cycle will mean a faster turnaround of instruments. So, bear this in mind when making your decision.
Another pointer to note is that an autoclave that heats the water on the outside will produce a load that is totally dry after sterilization. There will be less wastage of distilled water and cost savings will accrue over time.
A laboratory autoclave that has a single use water feature will do a much better job than one that reuses the water from previous cycles. There will be less contaminants in the water and this means a better performance by the autoclave.
These are some of the most important factors to consider when buying an autoclave. Most companies that produce laboratory autoclaves often produce a range of devices with some having the bare necessities and some autoclaves that come with all the bells and whistles such as printers and passwords, etc. Which autoclave you get will depend on your needs, the size of the laboratory and of course, your budget.