Power users are resigned to the fact that there are no “standard” lab autoclave cycle times (especially for liquids!) They know that a little planning and programming can generally prevent autoclave traffic jams—but is that all there is?
Not any more: Priorclave is taking action to speed cycle times for everyone.
A Quick Lab Autoclave Configuration Change Slashes Cycle Times
This past May Tony Collins—managing director of Priorclave Limited (our UK-based parent company)—announced that the default Thermal Lock temperature on all new models shipped to North America would be set to 70ºC. (The autoclave door will only open once the load has cooled to below the Thermal Lock temperature.)
This threshold was previously set at 50ºC, reflecting an EU safety standard that doesn’t exist in the United States (50ºC is roughly 120ºF—or about as hot as the hottest water coming out of your kitchen faucet). Raising the Thermal Lock threshold by 20ºC makes it possible to open your autoclave door significantly earlier. In most cases, users can expect cycles times to drop by at least 30 minutes.
A Word of Caution
The new North American Thermal Lock threshold of 70ºC is almost 160ºF—which is indeed very hot, although still perfectly safe. For comparison, chocolate chip cookies are baked at 350ºF (more than twice as hot).
“Trained technicians can certainly handle this,” Tony Collins noted, “And many will appreciate having the option of moving a cycle along so much more quickly. As ever, we remind anyone using any autoclave to be sure to wear their personal protection equipment. In this particular case, we are also updating our North American manuals to advise that all users wait 10 minutes after releasing the door before unloading. This will permit steam and heat to dissipate.”
But you don’t need to buy a new autoclave to reap the benefits of these faster cycle times: Existing Priorclave owners in North America can contact Priorclave North America for assistance in updating their autoclave’s configuration—free of charge!