autoclave(redirected from Steam sterilizer)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.
an apparatus for performing various processes under elevated temperatures and above-atmospheric pressure. The reaction is speeded up under these conditions, and the product yield is increased. Autoclaves may be rotary, rocking, horizontal, vertical, or columnar. If necessary, autoclaves can be provided with internal, external, or outboard heat exchangers; with mechanical, electromagnetic, or pneumatic agitating devices; and with instrumentation for measuring and controlling pressure, temperature, liquid fill level, and so forth. The design and basic parameters of a full-scale industrial autoclave vary widely, with capacities ranging from several dozen cm3 to hundreds of m3; autoclaves are designed to withstand pressures of up to 150MN/m3 (1,500 kgf/cm2) at temperatures of up to 500°C. Packless autoclaves driven by splashproof enclosed electric motors, requiring no seal, are promising for the chemical process industry. The rotor in this motor is mounted directly on the agitator shaft and is covered by an airtight, thin-walled enclosure of nonmagnetic material which does not prevent the magnetic lines of force from extending from the stator of the electric motor to its rotor.
Autoclaves are used in the chemical industry in the production of herbicides and organic semifinished products and dyes and in synthesis processes; in hydrometallurgy for leaching with subsequent recovery from solutions of non-ferrous and precious metals and rare elements; in the rubber industry for vulcanizing rubber products; in the canning industry for sterilizing canned goods; and in the construction materials industry. Autoclaves are also widely used in medicine.
REFERENCESKorndorf, B. A. Tekhnika vysokikh davlenii v khimii. Leningrad-Moscow, 1952.
Planovskii A. N., and P. A. Gurevich. Apparatura promyshlen-nosti poluproduktov i krasitelei. [2nd ed.] Moscow, 1961.
G. M. VEKSLER and V. A. ZAITSEV