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Autoclaves For Containment Laboratory Suite

The autoclave is one of those pieces of laboratory and medical equipment that we all tend to take rather for granted. We require them to be reliable, efficient, effective, of course, and readily at hand. Otherwise, perhaps unfairly, we don’t give them much consideration, until it’s time to buy a new one that is! It’s quite daunting then to consider the ramifications of how an autoclave must be configured for use in a containment laboratory suite, especially if it needs to have a double-door/pass through facility.

Such an autoclave has just been approved as part of Brunel University’s new CAT III containment laboratory suite, a building complex built to meet the most stringent demands for working with hazardous animal pathogens. This bespoke item was designed and built by Priorclave, one of Europe’s leading designers and manufacturers of autoclaves as part of the brief provided to the contracted company, Cleanroom Design and Construction Ltd, by the university.

Being used for the decontamination of dangerous materials, the 350 litre autoclave needed two sets of double doors, effectively isolating both ends of the machine, with a bulkhead seal where it passes through the wall. Electrical heating, rather than steam, has produced a cost effective solution and by only locating the door section of the uploading section within the containment area most of the equipment can be accessed for maintenance from the unloading room.

The autoclave cycle recorder printer is also located in the unloading room so that operators can check the cycle details before opening the equipment. Other safety features include a programmable key-lock and an interlock to prevent the unloading door from being opened before the sterilisation has been completed. And, as with all Priorclave equipment the loading door has to be opened and then locked before the loading door can be opened.

Priorclave pride themselves not just on supplying the designing top of the range autoclaves but on delivering them as well! This normally involves careful measurements and logistical thinking.

At Brunel’s Heinz Wolff building, named after the inspirational bioengineer, an added complication was that the laboratory lacked many of then things we take for granted – like walls and ceilings! However the Priorclave engineer was able to ‘walk through’ the autoclave delivery and installation from the floorplan and the result is a fully functional double door/pass through autoclave that has now undergone performance testing to achieve UKAS accreditation.

The autoclave is now tuned to perfection with full backup and servicing being provided by fully trained and certified Priorclave technicians. 

Date added: 2013-01-21 18:11:05