Autoclaving

Definition - What does Autoclaving mean?

Autoclaving is the process of sterilizing supplies and equipment with the use of high pressure that is saturated at 250°F (121°C) for about 15 minutes. This process is widely utilized in the fields of:

  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Microbiology
  • Veterinary science
  • Tattooing and body piercing

Corrosionpedia explains Autoclaving

Autoclaves are machines that make use of pressurized steam in order to eliminate microorganisms. Autoclaving is considered the most reliable system for the sterilization and decontamination of reagents, laboratory glassware, waste and other media.

Since autoclaves make use of damp heat, some products like paper and plastics cannot be sterilized. But autoclaves can inactivate fungi, bacteria, spores, viruses and other microorganisms on surgical instruments such as scalpels, forceps, scissors and other metal items.

It is also utilized in the sterilization of medical waste before disposal in the waste stream. This is preferable to incineration because of the health and environmental concerns brought about by incinerators.

Autoclaving is also used in vulcanizing rubber and curing composites, as the pressure and heat from autoclaves allows the attainment of the best possible physical properties.

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