How does an Autoclave Work?

Autoclaves are used in many different industries to sterilise equipment by subjecting them to high-pressure saturated steam at high temperatures. An effective autoclave must contain dry saturated steam, to achieve this air is removed from both the load and the chamber. Depending on the content and size of load there are different heating and pressure programmes to suit.

Benchtop Autoclave by Astell

The extra pressure created in an autoclaves means the water in the unit can boil higher that it’s normal boiling point to be able to kill microbes more effectively. Most microbes will die above 80oC. Whilst there are many chemicals that can kill microorganisms it hard to be confident that they will be 100% effective and often leave undesirable toxic residues.

Heaters in chamber is the standard configuration fitted to all circular chambered Astell autoclaves and Economy range models. On classic machines, water is manually poured by the user directly into the chamber before each cycle begins. As the heater element(s) reach temperature, the water in the chamber boils to produce steam. An Autofill option is available to allow automatic water filling to take place so that the autoclave does not need to be manually filled between cycles. This option is not suitable for sterilization cycles where drying is required for porous loads/fabrics.


For more information about astell autoclaves please get in touch with one of our technical team by calling 01954 233120, emailing or fill in the form below



One thought on “How does an Autoclave Work?

  1. I wanted to thank you for helping me understand autoclaves more. I didn’t know that classic machines has to have water poured in manually. I’m interested to learn if the amount of water that should be poured in would depend on what the autoclave is being used for.

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