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Autoclave

This furnace type is a pressure container which is hermetically sealed and is used for the heat treatment of materials in the overpressure range.

The autoclave functions according to the principle of Papin’s Pot, which was patented in 1681 by French physicist Denis Papin and paved the way for the pressure cooker which is still very popular today. As is known, an increased pressure is built up due to the hermetically sealed container, which in turn causes an increase in the boiling temperature and thus greatly reduces the cooking time.

By achieving increased pressure and consequently increased temperatures, this functional principle is used for example in medical technology for steam pressure sterilisation of surgical instruments, for disinfecting jewellery and tools, in the chemical industry for producing soap, for steam curing or hardening of materials, for extending shelf life in the food and animal feed industries, for compressing composite fibre materials and in the vulcanisation of rubber in vehicle tyre production.

Autoclaves can be designed for both small and large quantities of material or production units. The heat treatment of the materials in question takes place in batches, i.e. continuously one after the other, due to the isolation from the external atmosphere which is characteristic of these systems.

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