How do OrangeLine steamers work?
VARIOKLAV OrangeLine steamers work with the gravity method. This involves displacing the air remaining in the sterilisation chamber with saturated steam. This principle is based on the differing specific weights of steam and air: hot steam rises and displaces the cold air. The effect is that the water vapour can easily reach the goods and condense there. The process is also known as the pressure cooker principle and works in a very similar way in classic pressure cookers.
The biological action principle used in pressureless steaming is based, as in all steam sterilisers, on the effect of high temperatures over a certain period of time on the material to be sterilised. The steam, which has a temperature of 40 to 98 degrees Celsius, acts as a medium for heat transfer: the energy contained in it is applied as condensation heat for heating the condensate, which in turn is used for the particularly gentle inactivation of the microorganisms contained in the items to be sterilised. Steamers with this function, however, are used much more frequently for heating, keeping warm and pressureless steaming of growth media.
After all, for effective sterilisation without a pre-vacuum, higher temperatures would have to be used in the steamer and a number of other conditions would have to be met: Effective sterilisation by steam is only possible if the air remaining in the sterilisation chamber is completely displaced by saturated water vapour, if water vapour completely permeates the sterilisation chamber, and if condensation of water vapour on any part of the items to be sterilised is possible. If no condensation water can be generated and heated on any part of the material to be sterilised, the sterilisation is ineffective. This is why, for example, sterile packaging must be tested for steam permeability before sterilisation using a steamer in order to avoid air pockets that would have a negative impact on the sterilisation result.