We Regret to Inform You that there are No “Typical” Sterilizer Cycle Times
By: Priorclave North America
Category: Steam Autoclaves
Lab managers are often frustrated to learn that there are no “typical” cycle times for autoclaves. It’s not that we’re being coy: There are an enormous number of variables that come into play, from the density of the load to optional autoclave features to local statutes to how you loaded the device.
The good news is that, once you’ve established the cycle time for a given load, your programmable Priorclave will hit that mark reliably, day in and day out.
Liquid Cooling Times Are Long, But Results Are Reliable
Liquid cooling times are particularly frustrating. Liquid loads are tricky because gradual temperature changes are necessary to avoid boil over or liquid loss—not to mention a hellacious mess in the autoclave to clean up. Not only do they require a longer warm up and cool down than the same volume of solid material, but the same total volume of the same liquid in the same style flask might take longer to process depending on how you position the individual flasks in the chamber: Tightly packed loads obstruct the flow of steam—taking longer to come up to temperature—and then cool more gradually.
Although most labs report running cycles between 15 and 90 minutes, it’s not unusual for large liquid loads to take several hours to completely cool.
Minimized Inconvenience with Programming
Our Tactrol Control System was designed to meet the challenge of liquid load cycles head on. Part of this comes with having an extremely large number of individually customizable parameters. Once you’ve sorted out the proper temperature ramp, dwell time, and so on (with our help, if needed) you can lock it in. Delayed Start and Media Warming functions improve on this further, by making it easy to run those long liquid cycles overnight or when the lab is otherwise idle. All of that—specific parameters, Media Warming, etc.—can be programmed for easy One-Button Start.