Autoclave for Sale: Don’t Buy Without THIS Advice

What is an autoclave?

An autoclave is an empty tube that has a door on one end. Its purpose is to treat a variety of materials, including wood and rubber. It’s also used in the creation of fiber cement, aerated concrete, and for sterilization.

If your business depends on the use of an autoclave, there are some facts you need to know.

To hit your goals and keep production moving along, you need a good understanding of what an autoclave is, how they work, and what to look for when you’re ready to buy.

Here’s what you need to know when you’re looking for an autoclave for sale.

What is an autoclave?

The first – and most basic – thing you need to know is that an autoclave is just an empty tube that has a door at one end.

It goes by several different names.

You may hear it referred to as a “sterilizer,” “retort” or “vulcanizer.”

Whatever it’s called, the process is basically the same: putting items inside the autoclave and exposing them to high levels of pressure and/or vacuum.

The result is that the items inside are now “treated.”

What are autoclaves used for?

You know what an autoclave is, but what is its purpose? It has quite a few.

They may be used for:

  • Treating lumber for all sorts of uses, including railroad crossties and the wood your deck is made of.
  • Vulcanizing rubber. Rubber is pretty gooey and not useful in its natural state.
  • Creating fiber cement and aerated concrete. Both of these are great, low-cost options for building materials.
  • Sterilizing medical instruments, and many other items.

How do autoclaves work?

Let’s go a little more in-depth into the process.

Steam may be used, or chemicals, depending on what’s being treated in the autoclave.

The air has to be removed so that the pressure can be applied. This happens by using a vacuum inside the autoclave.

Some processes require heat to get the job done and, in that case, steam is used to raise the inside temperature of the autoclave. After the air is removed with the vacuum, steam is introduced, bringing the temperature up until it reaches the right level.

The pressure has to remain constant for a certain amount of time to properly treat the material inside. Once the time is up, pressure can be released and the item is done.

What should you look for in an autoclave manufacturer?

What qualities will a reputable autoclave manufacturer have?

A reputable autoclave manufacturer will:

  1. Get the design process right
  2. Know ASME Code.
  3. Emphasize quality control through thorough testing.

Once you’re ready to look for an autoclave for sale, what’s your next step? 

You want to be as economical as possible, so maybe looking for a used autoclave is the way to go.

That may seem like a sensible solution – at first.

Until you consider the list of reasons why NOT to go this route, including the risk of buying an autoclave that doesn’t meet your state’s ASME Code requirements. 

Or doesn’t have as much “usable life” left as you’d like. 

There are actually quite a few issues that make buying a new autoclave your best bet.

Here’s what you should look for when you’re ready to work with an autoclave manufacturer.

1. Find someone who gets the design process right.

Work with a company that will sit down with you and gets to the root of what your unique needs are. 

They should want to know all about your business’ operations and what you’ll be using your autoclave for. 

All of this should happen before the manufacturer even begins to work on your tank’s design.

Once they have all the information and have a well-rounded view of your company and what you do, they’ll create a custom design and work with you to either make changes or get approval.

2. Work with a manufacturer who knows ASME Code.

Make sure you’re working with a manufacturer who uses a quality control program that has been approved by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the National Board.

Then you won’t have to worry about having an autoclave that doesn’t meet the requirements and standards of your state.

3. Make sure they test, test and test again

The importance of thorough testing can’t be overstated.

Your safety, the safety of your employees, and your other machinery are at stake. 

A reputable manufacturer will use a variety of methods to test your autoclave.

The exact process will depend on what your autoclave will be used for, but a tank will almost always be subjected to a pressure test. Your autoclave should be able to withstand a pressure that’s 1.3 times as great as its designed working pressure.

Each of the various tests should be monitored by the manufacturer’s quality control team, as well as a third party inspection agency.

Find the best autoclave for sale

You understand what an autoclave is, what it does, and how it works.

And you know what to look for when you’re ready to purchase one from a trusted manufacturer.

Armed with this knowledge, “autoclave for sale,” has a whole new meaning for you and the future of your business.

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