The Goldilocks Problem of Autoclaves

The bulk of the autoclaves for sale in the United States are optimized for medical applications. While we do have a robust healthcare industry, increasing numbers of research and quality control labs find themselves in need of an autoclave—either for garden-variety verifiable sterilization, or to perform accelerated life-cycling, durability, and shelf-life testing. These medical-grade units are a terrible buy for those facilities.

Two Types of Medical Autoclaves For Sale

Medical autoclaves tend to fall into two broad categories:

  1. Complicated high-throughput sterilizers designed for healthcare facilities.
  2. Simple, low-duty units meant for dental offices, tattoo and piercing parlors, nail salons, and so on.

The first group is primarily complex hospital autoclaves costing tens of thousands of dollars. They are excellent units, but are significant water and energy consumers, and are tricky to operate, maintain, and service. They need to be kept hot 24/7, or risk damaging the seals and plumbing.

The second group is small table-top units that will only set you back a few hundred or thousand dollars. These are great tools for mom-and-pop shops with simple sterilization needs, but are often little more than pressure cookers with built-in hotplates. They are incapable of complex cycles and precise temperature/pressure control, and can often only accommodate very small loads, such as low trays of dental or body-modification instruments.

For a laboratory administrator, this is a classic Goldilocks Problem:
The hospital autoclaves are over-priced resource hogs, while the piercing-parlor sterilizers are under-powered pipsqueaks.

Buying Your “Just-Right” Autoclave

Owing to legacy import and medical device regulations there are shockingly few “middle-of-the-road” autoclaves for sale in the United States. Researchers and quality control specialists need small, easy-to-operate units capable of long, complex cycles, as well as long idle periods.

For more than 25 years Priorclave—one of the United Kingdom’s leading manufacturers of laboratory autoclaves—has been specializing in producing the “just-right” autoclave for non-medical facilities:

  • efficient cylindrical pressure vessels
  • energy-conscious design and operation
  • an industry-favored integrated computer control system
  • fully customizable to suit your needs.

Contact us today to find out if our autoclaves are just right for you.