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Gravity displacement sterilization process

The gravity displacement process means that a sterilization based on the principle that air within the autoclave chamber is cooler and heavier than the steam entering into the autoclave chamber, and will sink to the bottom of the autoclave chamber. In other words, The gravity-displacement procedure is based on the principle that air within the chamber is cooler and heavier than the steam and will sink to the bottom of the chamber. As the steam enters the chamber of autoclave, air is pushed out the bottom drain, and with the condensate exits through an open drain valve. The steam trap which is designed to effectively permit the passage of large volumes of air. The success of the procedure in removing air depends on the correct operation of the steam trap and the proper distribution of steam. Steam is injected into the autoclave chamber through a baffle or spreader bar, such as a perforated pipe. The rate of steam injection is very critical. If steam is added too rapidly or not distributed properly, the top or around of the load may carry the air layer. If steam is added too slowly, the air can be heated and diffuse into the steam, and result in removing air more difficult.

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The effectiveness of air elimination from the autoclave chamber is determined by measuring the temperature of drain line, because the air and condensate water sink into the bottom of the autoclave chamber. Because air is eliminated, thus it is first replaced by hot condensate water and eventually replaced by saturated steam. Temperature is the measure of thermal energy. The temperature of this place change from that of the cooler air and condensate water to that of the hotter steam, results in the close of steam trap. As the technology cycle progresses, the autoclave chamber gradually reaches the pressure coinciding with the desired temperature set-point.
A variance or improvement of the gravity displacement is a gravity or forced air removal cycle. Forced air removal ensures the removal of air from the autoclave chamber and is faster, more reliable and more efficient than the method of gravity air removal. It is designed to remove air from the autoclave chamber for liquid loads in vented or non-vented containers by introducing steam to force the air out through the drain line. A vacuum pump attached to the drain line is in simultaneous operation to assist in removing the air from the system. Both the autoclave chamber pressure and the temperature are controlled during the phase. Since air removal through gravity or forced air displacement is less efficient for sterilization of porous loads than other methods, so use of these cycles is not recommended.

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