How can steam sterilisation be achieved?

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Here at Sychem, we specialise in steam steriliser autoclaves

Steam sterilisation is achieved by the use of process or clean steam. The quality of steam required is dependent on the application the sterilisation is being used for. For example, healthcare applications where sterilisation is being used for the processing of surgical instruments will require steam that is compliant with EN285 and the Health Technical Memorandum HTM01.01.

Other applications such as the ones found within a laboratory and biomedical facilities are not governed by legislative requirements and therefore are subject to the users’ consideration to the process results required. Without doubt, sterilisation conducted with clean steam is best practice but not always justifiable commercially. In these cases, process steam is utilised which is produced using a lower grade of water, not RO water.

Steam Quality is ascertained through consideration to:

• The level of non-condensable gases present
• Steam Dryness
• Super Heat

The optimal composition of steam is 3% liquid and 97% gas. Any change in the percentage of moisture increases or decreases sterilisation time. In practice, sterilization time is calculated according to optimum steam conditions and steam’s ability to transfer energy to the non-sterile load prior to sterilization.

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