For the benchtop autoclaving of a few instruments or small amount of media, etc. then there is a range of Prestige portable laboratory autoclaves listed on our website with different sizes and cycle choices. The following guide is aimed at customers with more substantial or varied requirements for their autoclaves.
Progen Scientific distribute Priorclave autoclaves which come in sizes from 40 litre laboratory benchtop to 700 litre capacity. The main considerations for the choice of autoclave are the size of loads to be autoclaved, the type of loads, number of loads per day, services requirements (electric, water, drains, etc.) and the autoclave's location.
Please view our laboratory autoclaves products page to find the exact autoclave you need. You can also phone or enquire and talk to a customer service representative.
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Listed below is a range of information, answers and questions you should consider when choosing a laboratory autoclave:
Types of autoclaves:
Front loading (cylindrical chamber or rectangular chamber from 40 litre to 700 litre)
Top loading (cylindrical chamber from 60 litre to 200 litre)
Pass through or double-ended (so that load enters in one room and is taken out when autoclaved via other door in an adjoining room). Cylindrical chambers of 150 or 200 litre and rectangular chambers of 350, 450 or 700 litre)
Most sizes of laboratory autoclaves can be supplied as either electric heating (heats water in the autoclave to produce the steam) or steam heating (live steam introduced from external source)
Types of autoclave loads
Glassware, instruments & apparatus
Standard use of autoclave with option of vacuum drying which allows loads to be removed 'dry' with out operator intervention
The following options are recommended for effective media preparation with reduced cycle times: freesteaming (improved temperature distribution); accelerated cooling (extra loads per day); media warming (when cycle finishes media is kept at 40oC, handy for overnight cycles); performance testing
Fluid and diluent sterilisation
Priorclave recommends the following options for effective fluid sterilisation: load sensed process timing (guaranteed sterilising times as cycle does not start until probe placed in centre of load reaches cycle temperature); accelerated cooling (extra loads per day)
The greatest difficulty with some waste loads is achieving adequate load steam penetration especially where there are large volumes of air (petri dishes, porous loads, etc.) and/or large quantities of insulating plastic materials. The following options are recommended: freesteaming (improved temperature distribution); pulsed freesteaming (improved steam penetration); accelerated cooling (more loads per day); pre-cycle vacuum (excellent air removal in conjunction with pulsed freesteaming); vacuum cooling cycle (even faster cycles); performance testing
Porous loads (e.g. textiles)
The key requirements are good steam penetration and effective drying. The following options are strongly recommended: pulsed freesteaming (improved steam penetration) in conjunction with pre-cycle vacuum for effective air removal; vacuum drying (essential for load to be removed 'dry' at the end of the cycle)
Priorclave are well acquainted with the U.K. Health Service HTM2010 requirements and offer a compliance package suitable for all their laboratory autoclaves. Their technical department are well experienced in performance testing to HTM2010 requirements. Priorclave's calibration and performance testing procedures are fully accredited by UKAS.
The HTM2010 compliance package includes the following: self-monitoring (TACTROL® control system continuously monitors itself for correct calibration; mechanical cycle counter; setting lock; independent thermal lock; pressure gauge test port. Priorclave also recommend fitting a process printer for clear, automated record keeping and a multi-programme memory where more than one type of cycle is used.
Double door autoclaves are recommended where a clean room or containment laboratory (category 3, etc.) is being installed. Where there is concern about bio-hazardous material in the autoclave exhaust, a microbiological filter can be fitted. Unfiltered condensate is returned to the autoclave for sterilisation
Many other systems use hot water or steam and Priorclave autoclaves have been adapted for the following applications: food processing (simultaneously cooking and shrink wrapping vegetables); plastics (re-hydration of moulded nylon components; accelerated curing; construction (testing conditions for curing roof tiles)
Before choosing your laboratory autoclave you need to check that it will fit in the location and can be delivered to that location. There should also be approximately 1 metre access at the sides and rear (minimum 500mm.) for service access and 2 metres at front of front loaders. Electrical supply (single or triple phase as required), steam supply (if required) and drain / venting should also be considered before choosing the autoclave.
If the autoclave is on hospital premises then it must comply with HTM2010 regulations (see above)
Services Required (general, may vary with autoclave and application)
Electrical Supply: 380/415 volts, 50 Hz, three phase rated at 15 amps per phase with earth and neutral or 240 volts, 50Hz, single phase rated at 30 amps with earth and neutral terminated at a suitably fused switched socket RS Components Stock Number 367 4086 within 2 metres run of the rear of the Priorclave.
Steam supply (if required): Discuss with Progen representative or we can arrange site visit with a Priorclave representative
Water Supply: Not required, manual fill. If the Auto Water Filling option is supplied then a 15mm cold water supply terminated at a stopcock within 2 metres run of the rear of the Priorclave should be supplied.
Drain Service: A 35mm sealed drain with an untrapped 22mm entry, capable of withstanding steam at 136 ° C, with a constant fall to waste, vented at a high level outside of the building to satisfy the requirements of BS 2646 Part 2 1990. A separately trapped, 22mm drain should be provided for the Auto Water Fill tank. All drains should be provided at a low level within 2 metres run of the rear of the Priorclave
Number of loads per day
Manual load settings or pre-programmed
Installation and commissioning
Extended warranty / Service contracts
Options and accessories
- Vertical power doors are an option on front loading rectangular section autoclaves from 230 to 700 litre sizes
- Load-lite lifting hoist - helps out with heavy loads from top loading autoclaves
- Loading trolleys - to help roll loads in and out of front loading laboratory autoclaves
- Automatic waterfill - fills the autoclave between cycles (usually R.O. water)
- Air intake filter - filters air taken into the autoclave (standard with vacuum drying or cooling cycles)
- Serial interface - for monitoring by computer
- Self-monitoring - TACTROL® continuously monitors itself for correct calibration
- Recorders - for independent monitoring. Load and pressure sensing channels available
- Waste containers - for operator safety and protection of your autoclave with waste loads. These contain spillages whilst allowing good steam penetration
- Load baskets - check the maximum number of load baskets for your size of autoclave
The choice of an autoclave, such as those in the Priorclave range, can represent a big investment financially and you want to make sure it performs to all your expectations and sterilises your loads safely and correctly. Progen Scientific strongly recommends a visit by one of their representatives to your site and, where necessary, a site visit by a Priorclave representative can be arranged.
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