Basic Components with Autoclave diagram

What is an Autoclave?

  • An autoclave is a pressure chamber used to sterilize equipment and materials through the application of high-pressure steam.
  • The autoclave diagram depicts the key components involved in this process, including the chamber, pressure control system, and the heating mechanism.

Autoclave Part and its description (Autoclave Diagram Breakdown):

  • In general, there are two types of autoclaves:
    1. Pre-vacuum sterilizer
    2. Gravity displacement autoclave.
  • Both operate slightly differently. While pre-vacuum autoclaves drain out the air using the vacuum pump’s drawing force, gravity displacement autoclaves drain out the air through an exhaust valve that is actuated by steam.
  • To maintain a sterile environment within, both versions replace the air with pressurized steam at the right temperature and duration.
  • Let’s examine the fundamental parts of the gravity displacement autoclave in this context. The ease of use is demonstrated in the autoclave diagram.
  • Below figure shows Autoclave Diagram-Schematic:
Autoclave diagram
Schematic diagram of Autoclave

1. Pressure Chamber

  • An interior chamber and an outer jacket make up the main body. Stainless steel (S.S) makes up an interior chamber.The central part of the autoclave where items to be sterilized are placed. It is designed to withstand high-pressure steam and temperature
  • It comprises of a tripod support that a perforated holding tray must be placed over. The media and glassware can be kept on top of the holding plate.
  • In typical medical installations, steam enters and passes via a working valve to fill an outer jacket.
  • It decreases the time needed to attain the sterilizing temperature as it moves forward and downward through the chamber.
  • The pressure vessels’ capacities or sizes range from 100 L to 3000 L.

2. Lid

It is the 2nd most key element of an autoclave provided with the following systems:

  • Pressure valve: It control the pressure of the steam jacket and inner chamber.
  • Safety valve: It guards against damages due to overpressure.
  • Exhaust valve: Its main work is to release steam.
  • Whistle: It shows that the pressure amplified/rises inside the vessel by lifting itself to release water vapors.
  • Tightening knobs: The autoclave can be locked with a few tightening knobs, creating a closed system that sanitizes the items.
  • Door: The entry point for loading and unloading items. The door is securely sealed during operation to maintain the pressure inside the chamber.

3. Steam Generator

  • Fill the inner chamber with water until it reaches the tripod stand’s height. The heating rod used to create steam is connected to a power connection.
  • A power source is used to create steam from the water in a heating element or boiler at the bottom of the pressure vessel.
  • The efficiency of the steam sterilizer is greatly influenced by the water level. If the water level is too low, there may be a danger of the heating element burning.
  • Similarly, too much water could harm any installed components.

4. Pressure Control System:

  • This system ensures the autoclave operates at the desired pressure levels. It typically includes a pressure gauge, pressure relief valve, and control knobs.


  • Heating Mechanism: The autoclave diagram highlights the heating source, often an electric or gas heater, responsible for generating steam. It plays a crucial role in achieving the required temperature for sterilization.
  • Drain Valve: Used for releasing the steam and water from the chamber after the sterilization process
  • Safety Features: Autoclaves incorporate safety mechanisms, such as pressure sensors, temperature controls, and door interlocks, to ensure safe operation and prevent accidents.

Working of an Autoclave:

  • Understanding the autoclave diagram helps grasp the sterilization process. Here’s a simplified overview:
  • Load the items to be sterilized into the autoclave chamber, ensuring proper arrangement and spacing for effective steam penetration.
  • Close and seal the autoclave door securely, verifying that all safety measures are in place.
  • Initiate the sterilization cycle by setting the desired pressure and temperature parameters using the control system.
  • The heating mechanism heats the water present in the autoclave, generating high-pressure steam. The pressure builds up inside the chamber.
  • As the pressure and temperature rise, steam penetrates the items, destroying bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms.
  • Maintain the set pressure and temperature for a specified duration to ensure complete sterilization.
  • Once the sterilization cycle is complete, the pressure is released, and the chamber is safely opened after ensuring the temperature and pressure have returned to safe levels.
  • Unload the sterilized items carefully, ensuring they remain free from contamination.

 Benefits of Autoclaves:

  • Effective Sterilization: Autoclaves provide reliable and thorough sterilization, eliminating a wide range of pathogens and ensuring the safety of personnel and patients.
  • Time and Cost Efficiency: The ability to sterilize multiple items simultaneously makes autoclaves a time-saving solution, reducing the need for individual sterilization cycles. This efficiency translates into cost savings for businesses.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Autoclaves use steam and heat as the primary sterilization agents, eliminating the need for harsh chemicals. This eco-friendly approach reduces environmental impact.
  • Versatility: Autoclaves can sterilize various items, including surgical instruments, glassware, media, textiles, and more, making them indispensable in multiple industries.
  • Compliance with Regulations: Autoclaves are an essential tool for meeting regulatory standards and guidelines in industries such as healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and laboratories.

Read More:

You cannot copy content of this page