Types of Autoclaves

What are the Types of Autoclaves?

Different types (Class of Autoclaves):

  • Class N,
  • Class S and
  • Class B.

There are several varieties of autoclaves (4 types of autoclaves) available on the market, including

1.    Pressure cooker type/ Laboratory bench autoclaves (N-type)

  • In many regions of the world, these domestic pressure cookers are still in use.
  • A rubber gasket can be used to fasten and seal the more contemporary form, which includes a metal chamber with a secure metal cover.
  • It contains a safety valve, pressure gauge, and a tap for steam and air discharge. At the bottom of the chamber is an electric immersion heater.
Pressure cooker type/ Laboratory bench autoclaves (N-type)
  • The top layer of a pressure cooker-style autoclave is made of premium stainless steel. A detachable lid serves as the covering for the top layer. The lower part is a hollow chamber in a similar way.

Below are the parts of this type autoclaves:

  1. Heating Elements: For heating the water.
  2. Gasket: Required for preventing the loss of vapor and heat.
  3. Steam Releasing Valve: To substitute air present within the autoclave previously sterilization and steam after sterilization.
  4. Pressure Regulating Valve (Stop Cock): To maintain the vapour pressure inside the chamber while sterilization is taking place by exhaling extra steam.
  5. Safety Valve:  To discharge extra steam if the stop cock fails to operate correctly.
  6. Tripod Stand: To grip the physical objects that wanted to autoclave.
  7. Vacuum Releasing Valve (Optional): To generate a pre-vacuum, prior to its operation.

2.    Gravity displacement type autoclave (Gravity autoclaving)

  • This is the autoclave that is most frequently used in laboratories.
  • This also known as Class N Autoclave.
  • In this kind of autoclave, the heating unit creates steam inside the chamber, which circulates throughout the chamber for sterilization.
  • Comparatively speaking, this kind of autoclave is less expensive than others.
Gravity displacement type autoclave (Gravity autoclaving)- Class N Autoclave
credit@ researchgate.net

3.    Positive pressure displacement type (B-type)

  • In the case of this kind of (Positive pressure displacement type) autoclave, the steam is produced in a different steam generator and then introduced into the autoclave.
  • This autoclave is quicker because the steam can be produced in just a few seconds.
  • Compared to gravity displacement autoclaves, this type is an improvement.
Positive pressure displacement type (B-type Autoclave)
Credit@ https://flightdentalsystems.com

4.    Negative pressure displacement type (S-type)

  • A steam generator and a vacuum generator are both present in Negative pressure displacement type autoclave.
  • Here, the steam generator produces steam while the vacuum generator removes all of the air from the autoclave.
  • The autoclave is then filled with steam.
  • This autoclave type is the most frequently advised since it is highly accurate and achieves a high level of sterility assurance.
  • This type of autoclave is also the most expensive.
Negative pressure displacement type (S-type Autoclave)

Related: Difference between a Class B and Class N Autoclaves

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