If you are wanting to understand how an autoclave sterilizer differs from other sterilizers you should firstly understand what a “sterilizer” is by definition.
What is a Sterilizer? – By definition:
A sterilizer is a machine or an object used to sterilize. The word “sterilize” is a verb that describes the act or process of destroying microorganisms – usually germs or bacteria. This is normally done with the use of heat or chemicals.
What an Autoclave Sterilizer is and how it works:
An autoclave sterilizer, is a machine and is most commonly referred to just as an “autoclave”. It boils water into steam inside a pressure vessel (chamber). While it heats up it forces the air out of its chamber creating a temperature consistent environment inside the chamber being that it is 100% filled with saturated steam. This is the most effective method of sterilization that uses heat to kill bacteria.
The minimum sterilizing conditions in a steam autoclave are 250F – 121C 30 minutes or 270F – 132C for 3 – 12 minutes. At these temperatures the pressure is between 15 PSI (1.03 bar) while at 250F to 28-30 PSI (2.06 bar) when run at 270F. These scientific pressures can vary with higher altitudes.
So how does an Autoclave Sterilizer differ from any other Sterilizer?
An autoclave sterilizer is just is a form of a sterilizer using pressurized steam to sterilize. It is the most commonly used because autoclaving is the most effective method of moist heat sterilization. Autoclaves come in various sizes ranging from small pressure cookers used in tattoo shops to large built-in sterilizers used in hospitals.
Other Sterilization methods are the use of ionizing radiation, dry-heat, chemicals & liquids, acid, filters, microwave, glass beads, hydrogen peroxide.
Problems with Autoclaves:
Being that Autoclaves boil water into steam they tend to break down. Filters get clogged, valves get ware and heaters burn out. Medicanix is the experts in autoclave sterilizer repairs.