Porous Load Sterilization
When you think of the autoclaving process in a laboratory setting, the equipment that comes to mind are lab instruments, beakers, glassware, and even liquids. However, the fabric materials, textiles, and porous materials that are used along with standard instruments need to be sterilized as well. Porous objects that may need to be sterilized in a lab can consist of garments, stoppers, tubing, non-shedding fabric, polymeric wrapping materials, and anything contained in steam and air permeable wrappings. Additionally, certain non-porous loads may require similar treatment if they easily capture pockets of cold air, like narrow-mouthed containers.
In order to ensure proper sterilization and to fully permeate the porous loads, it is vital to make certain there are no cold air pockets and that all air inside the autoclave chamber is replaced with steam. Autoclaves capable of this have what is known in the industry as “pre-vac” cycles. These are outfitted with a vacuum pump which allows you the option of drawing a partial vacuum in the chamber during the initial heating period, which occurs while the chamber is being flooded with steam. By “pulsing” this vacuum, the operator can ensure that the cold air is entirely removed from the chamber. Another benefit of having a vacuum pump is that a “post-cycle vacuum” stage can be run, resulting in much dryer loads, which is essential for porous loads. Priorclave offers this as part of our autoclave options and has the ability to customize your porous load autoclave for the type of items you are sterilizing (porous and non-porous loads).
Our sterilizers are all laboratory-grade and can be created to any desired specification with many customizable features to fit all porous material needs, such as pulsed free-steaming. Pulsed free-steaming is essential for porous loads as it effectively removes the air and ensures efficient steam penetration.
Other custom features include load sensed process timing, combined pre-cycle vacuum, post-cycle vacuum drying, and our Tactrol self-monitoring system. Finding which autoclave is right for you will depend on volume, capacity, speed, and available space. Here are a couple we recommend:
- Our front-loading autoclaves are ideal for all lab environments. These are suitable for most materials, including porous and non-porous materials, like garments and wrappings.
- Benchtop autoclaves are also ideal solutions for sterilizing porous loads such as air-permeable materials. They are easy to use, offer fully-featured programmable control systems, and come in 40L and 60L sizes.
Priorclave has a dedicated team of seasoned experts ready to guide your autoclave purchasing decision, even if you are unsure about your specific needs. You might feel uncertain about precisely what autoclave features and functions are appropriate for sterilizing porous loads in your lab. We will guide your laboratory autoclave purchasing decision and find the proper autoclave for you; no matter if it’s one we have ready to go or a custom autoclave built just for your lab, we are here to help.