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What is autoclave?

What is autoclave? And how it operates? Autoclave, to say it informally, it is an equipment that used to sterilize.
How does an autoclave work? There would be a brief introduction to it. Steam enters the chamber jacket, passes through an operating valve and enters the rear of the chamber behind a baffle plate. It flows forward and down through the chamber and the load, and exiting at the front bottom. A pressure regulator maintains jacket and chamber pressure at a minimum of 15 psi, the pressure required for steam to reach 1210C. Over pressure protection is provided by a safety valve.
When it comes to an autoclave how to sterilize, sterilization is a process, including steam held at elevated temperature and pressure for time is used to transfer moist heat, steam has much greater heat transfer than boiling water, 80 calories to boil water, we know that heating water can generate steam, yet 540 calories to produce steam. Heat acts do denature proteins, effectively killing all microbial cells present.
The autoclave which used to production are usually large, and often loads one side, unloads the other side. This autoclave often used to sterilize production equipment. The autoclave which used in laboratory may be large or small. The items which need to be sterilized usually loads and unloads from same side, and sterilized items do not unload directly into production environment. The laboratory autoclave are able to use to sterilize equipment as well as media, and also use to decontaminate materials before disposal.
Why use moist heat sterilizer, here are some reasons, moist heat sterilization is the easiest way to sterilize large volumes of heat tolerant material, and its sterilization effect is more effective than dry heat, also not as messy as chemicals, and no need for radiation. It’s worth noting that precautions to minimize contamination should be taken during all processing stages including the stages before sterilization. Once validated, simple indicators would tell the technical staff that sterilized and non sterilized materials apart, the temperature, time as well as pressure trace are used to confirm sterilization occurred.
The factors which may affect sterilization effect have lots. For example, the sterilization effect is related to the microbe sensitivity to heat, the time held at sterilizing temperature, as well as the ability of steam to penetrate items being sterilized. The ability of steam penetration has a big impact on sterilization effect. As steam is used to transfer heat and tightly wrapped items which need to be sterilized. And steam may not be properly penetrated if have long tubing. And worse case would happen for validation. If validations fails, then something is not as it should be. Even though the sterilization effect relies on the ability of steam penetration, this may not occur in all cases. It’s more important to see what items you put in an autoclave.

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