How Does a Sterilizer Work

A sterilizer is one of the most essential equipment or tools that it used in different purposes. This tool is mainly used in industrial applications and healthcare. This is a machine which uses the steam under pressure for killing all the harmful virus, bacteria and fungi. But the main question that can come to your mind is how this tool works. The sterilizers are available in two different forms – low capacity sterilizers and high capacity sterilizers. While the high-capacity ones are used for pharmaceutical industry, laboratories and animal facilities, the low-capacity sterilizers are used for small laboratory uses and research facilities.

How does the sterilizer work?
The sterilizers are used widely for disinfecting and sterilizing different materials. With the help of the proper machine, you can customize your needs and it work according to that. Before we start explaining the system how these sterilizers work, you need to know about the parts. These are – vessel, controlling system, thermostatic trap, safety valve, vacuum system and steam generator. A sterilizer works mainly through 3 different phases. Here we will explain all the details related to it.

1. Purge or Conditioning Phase
In this phase, the air present in the sterilizers must be removed first from the chamber. This is the first phase of sterilization cycle. It is also called conditioning. It is also called purge phase where the steam flow through the sterilization tool and start displacing the air, pressure ramp and temperature. Generally, the air is removed by using the vacuum system. If the sterilizers don’t have a vacuum system, then stream flushes are used.

2. Exposure Phase
Once the air is completely removed from the sterilizing chamber, the drain is closed. After closing it, steam is being discharged into the chamber continuously. This process increases the temperature as well as the pressure rapidly inside the sterilizer. In this case, the cycle starts entering into the exposure phase where the items that are to be sterilized are held. This requires the right sterilizing temperature and must be applied for a fixed amount of time for sterilizing it.

3. Exhaust Phase
The next and the last phase is exhaust phase. During this final phase, the drain of the sterilizers is opened for removing the steam. Since, the steam is exhausted from the machine, this phase is named so. Hence, it starts depressurizing the vessel. This allows the items present in the machine to dry. Here, an exhaust valve is present which is operated to release the pressure and steam.

Now, it is quite evident how the sterilizer works. Though the operation and mechanism remains the same, the capacity can differ from one machine to another. It depends upon your needs and requirements which of these sterilizers you will need. If you have a small research laboratory or a pharmaceutical company, then low capacity sterilizers can be enough. But for large-scale sterilization method, you will need a high-capacity sterilizer. This can help you in sterilizing all the essential laboratory and medical equipment and tools that are needed to be sterilized.

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