How an Autoclave Works & How We Save You Time & Money

Excedr - Autoclaves

Despite the variety in configurations, the Excedr lease program is able to procure all instrument types and can accommodate any model preferences your lab might have. Request an estimate today and see how leasing can discount your device’s price.

All equipment brands/models are available

Excedr’s Autoclave Leasing Program Has Numerous Advantages:

  • Eliminates the upfront cost of purchasing equipment by spreading its cost over time
  • Minimizes equipment downtime with included complete repair coverage and preventive maintenance
  • Takes advantage of potentially 100% tax deductible* payments, providing you significant cash-savings
  • Expedites the administrative work needed for instrument procurement and logistics
  • Conserves working capital,  enabling you to reinvest in your core business and operations (staffing, inventory, marketing/sales, etc.)
  • Accommodates all manufacturer and model preferences

*Please consult your tax advisor to determine the full tax implications of leasing equipment.

a microplate well leaning against a graduated cylinder on top of glassware storage

An autoclave, or steam sterilizer, is a type of pressure chamber sterilization device that employs elevated pressures and high temperatures.

It uses pressure and temperature in combination to disinfect and sterilize equipment used in a variety of medical, laboratory, and industrial processes and settings. 

Autoclaving is considered one of the most effective and reliable means of sterilizing in these fields. This is due to their disinfection and sterilizing capabilities, which remove harmful microorganisms (e.g. bacteria and spores). Typical loads include laboratory equipment, glassware, surgical instruments, other healthcare or lab supplies like pipette tips, and medical waste.

Autoclave sterilization removes air from its internal chamber. This is due to air being a poor medium for sterilization, because when air is present, the process of effectively cleaning equipment and glassware can be incredibly tedious and not guaranteed. 

Instead, most autoclaves utilize high-pressure saturated steam to sterilize equipment, samples, and supplies, subjecting them to an intense sterilization cycle that involves heat and steam for a period of time. 

By removing the air and subjecting the load inside to steam and pressure, the chances of something not being fully sterilized are minimized. Using an autoclave to clean and sterilize equipment is also referred to as autoclaving, and can typically be completed in as little as 60 to 90 minutes.

Sterilization Process, Cycles, Air Removal, & Load Sizes

a hand face up balancing a screw on its index finger

When looking to acquire an autoclave, it’s important to have an understanding of the various sterilization processes, autoclave cycles, and air removal methods used today, as this knowledge can help you make the best procurement decision for you and your team. Let’s go over some of the basics.


All autoclaves use principles similar to that of pressure cookers: the door locks and forms a sealed chamber, where all the trapped air is replaced with steam. The steam is then pressurized for a certain period of time so that the objects within are sterilized. Afterwards, the steam is released so that the objects can be removed. The general phases of sterilization are as follows:

  • Conditioning: the chamber is sealed and steam begins to displace the air present, as the temperature and pressure start to increase at a steady rate.
  • Exposure: the autoclaves’ control system closes the exhaust valve, allowing for the temperature and pressure to increase to and be maintained at the desired point.
  • Exhaust/Drying: the pressure and steam are released from the autoclave’s chamber through an exhaust valve which causes the interior to return to room temperature.


The two most common sterilization cycles used include:

  • Gravity: The gravity-displacement process is the most basic of the two. Steam displaces air in the chamber by gravity through a drain port. No mechanical assistance is required. Because the removal of air is more passive, gravity cycles often take longer than other processes.
  • Pre-vacuum: Using this method, air is removed using a vacuum pump and pressure pulses. The steam can penetrate porous areas of the autoclave load, unlike more simple methods such as gravity-displacement.

Air Removal

Besides gravity-displacement and pre-vacuum sterilization cycles, which utilize their own methods of air removal, there are several other types of air removal methods used in autoclaves, and the main ones are as follows:

Vacuum Pumps

The vacuum pump, seen in pre-vacuum and/or post-vacuum sterilization cycles, is a method of air removal that relies on sucking air or steam and air mixtures from the chamber. This is useful in situations where extraneous air pockets (e.g. porous areas) could be trapped in the load.

Steam Pulsing

This method relies on using steam pulses to dilute the air. This is done by pressurizing and then depressurizing the change to near atmospheric pressure.

Superatmospheric Cycles

This method relies on a vacuum pump that uses steam pulsing afterward. The number of pulses necessary will depend on the make, model, and chamber size.

Subatmospheric Cycles

Similar to superatmospheric cycles, this method involves a vacuum pump followed by steam pulsing. The chamber never exceeds atmospheric pressure until the autoclave temperature is achieved.

Downward Displacement/Gravity

This method is the simplest way to remove air. Steam enters the chamber, filling the upper areas first because of relative density compared to the air. Air is gradually pushed to the bottom of the chamber and out through a drain, which also generally functions as an autoclave temperature sensor. This is done until the chamber reaches the required sterilization temperature.


Loading the device

The proper packaging and containment of infectious materials are crucial. The most frequent reason for sterilization failure is the lack of contact between the steam and microorganisms.

Dry material (e.g. dry supplies, equipment, instruments, etc.) should be separated from liquid material to achieve proper sterilization. This is achieved using autoclavable bags, which are loaded with the material to be sterilized. The bag should be no more than 75% full, and should typically be left open in order to ensure steam can reach inside. If the autoclavable bag is steam resistant, it must be left open or have holes punched into the top to allow the steam to penetrate.

Furthermore, it’s important to note bags that allow steam penetration tend to melt or crumble during the sterilization cycle. These bags can also leak, so they should be placed into a shallow stainless steel pan.

In addition, each load should include heat sensitive autoclave tape with chemical indicators that will show whether or not the device has reached normal operating temperatures and pressure.

The amount of objects you can load into the autoclave will depend on the unit you buy. It’s important to check with the manufacturer the exact weight the device can hold per cycle.


Autoclaves and Their Uses

A prototype of the autoclave, a high-pressure cooker referred to as a “steam digester”, was developed in 1679 by the French physicist Denis Papin. However, it wasn’t until 200 years later that a new version would be created by the French microbiologist Charles Chamberland, which would go on to be used in medical applications.

As the science and importance of sterilization became more widely understood throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, modern autoclave technology was developed in parallel. By the 1930s, the first pressure steam sterilizer was created, and was designed to control performance by measuring the temperature in the chamber drain line. Subsequent developments followed throughout the 20th century.

While autoclaves have numerous sterilization, cycle, and air removal options, the system functions remain remarkably similar. Understanding the critical role autoclaves play in the medical and research industries is important for those looking to lease:

  • Research: It is important to note that many autoclaves used for medical functions are not particularly useful in research applications. This is because the more standard research-grade autoclaves place a premium on ease-of-use, efficiency, and flexibility, while medical autoclaves need a more direct focus on sterilization.
  • Medicine: The main focus of medical-grade autoclaves is to neutralize or remove all viruses, bacteria, fungi, and spores on equipment and instruments. This is due to the consistent need to use these items directly on humans, hence the emphasis on preventing contamination and infection.
  • Dental: A dental autoclave or a dental sterilizer, is a device that uses steam sterilization or dry heat sterilization to sanitize dental tools. Working in a human mouth can expose equipment to millions of germs that, if not properly cleaned, can lead to dangerous bacteria being passed on to patients.

Autoclave Leases to Minimize Upfront Spending

three shapes shown one after another: an erlenmeyer flask, boiling flask, and graduated cylinder

Autoclaves allow professionals working in microbiology, medicine, and education—anywhere laboratory or medical equipment, instruments, and supplies are used—to keep their equipment clean and sterile. Without one, countless research facilities, hospitals, dental offices, and more would be left using unfit, unsafe equipment, falling short of biosafety principles and practices used today. 

Whether you’re looking to lease a laboratory dishwasher or autoclave, we have your cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing needs covered. If you’re interested in leasing an autoclave, or would like to learn more about our lease program, you can reach us by calling +1 888-927-3802 or completing our contact form online.

Operating Lease

This off-balance sheet financing structure provides three options at the end of the term. The lessee has the option to return the equipment to the lessor, renew at a discounted rate, or purchase the instrument for the fair market value. Monthly payments are also 100% tax deductible which yields additional monetary savings.


If you recently bought equipment, Excedr can offer you cash for your device and convert your purchase into a long-term rental. This is called a sale leaseback. If you’ve paid for equipment within the last ninety days, we can help you recoup your investment and allow you to make low monthly payments. This also frees up money in your budget rather than tying it down to a fixed asset.

Autoclave Device Manufacturers & Models on the Market
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Consolidated Sterilizer Systems:
“Single Door, Hinged Autoclave”, SSR-2A, SSR-3A, SR-24A, SR-26A, SR-24B, SR-24C, SSR-26B, SSR-28B, SR-24D, SR-24E, SR-24F, “Single Door, Vertical Sliding Autoclave”, 3AV, 26AV, 26BV, 26CV, “Double Door, Pass-Thru Autoclave”, PT-SSR-2A, PT-SSR-3A, PT-SR-24A, PT-SR-26A, PT-SR-24B, PT-SR-24C, PT-SR-26B, PT-SR-28B, PT-SR-24D, PT-SR-24E, PT-SR-24F, “Dual Chamber, Tower Autoclave”, SSR-2A, SSR-3A

Systec V-Series, Systec VX, Systec VE, Systec VB, Systec D-Series, Systec DX, Systec DE, Systec DB, Systec H-Series , Systec HX, Systec H-Series 2D

AMSCO LS Series, 430LS, 630 LS, Finn-Aqua GLP, FINN-AQUA 77, FINN-AQUA 55, Finn-Aqua GMP, 6912-N-D-C-BPS-S7, 91515-N-D-C-BPS-AB, AMSCO LSS, LSS 91521, LSS 91821, LSS 92121, LSS 121821, LSS 122121, LSS 152121, LSS 182121, AMSCO LS Series, AMSCO 110LS, AMSCO 250LS, AMSCO C-Series, C Series 16c, C Series 20C, C Series 16CS, C Series 20CS

T-Max Narrow Autoclaves, T-Max 2, T-Max 4, T-Max 6, T-Max 8, T-Max 10, T-Max 12L, T-Max Large Capacity Autoclave, T-Max 12, T-Max 15, 44 and 55 Sterilizer Series, 4472, 4496, 5596, 55120, 6690, 66120, 6671130, 6671162, 69 Series Large Sterilizer, 6990, 69120, 69150, 69180, GS-Line, 50125GS-1A, 50125GS-2A, 5075GS-1A, 5075GS-2A, Elara 9D, Elara 9i, Elara 11D-High Speed Sterilization, Elara 11i, D-Line E, 3850E, 3870E, D-Line EK, 2340EK, 2840EK, D-Line EA, 3850EA, 3870EA, D-Line EKA, 2340EKA, 2840EKA, E Series, 2340E, 2540E, 3140E, 3850E, 3870E, EK Series, 2340EK, 2540EK, EA Series, 2340EA, 2540EA, 38050EA, 3870EA, EKA Series, 2340EKA, 2540EKA, M Series, 2340M, 2540M, 3140M, 3850M, 3870M, MK Series, 1730MK, 2340MK, 2540MK, 2540MKA, 3870HSG D-Line, 3870HSG-WS, 3870HSG-D, 5075HSG D-Line, 5075HSG-D, 5075HSG-WS, 5075HSG-BH, 364853, 364860, 364872, 3648144, EL-D Line, 2840EL, 2840EL, 3850EL, 3870EL, EL- Fully Automatic, 2540EL, 3150EL, 3850EL, 3870EL, ML, 2540ML, 3850ML, 3870ML, ELV-D Line, 2840ELV, 3840ELV, 3850ELV, 3870ELV, ELV, 2540ELV, 3150ELV, 3170ELV, 3850ELV, 3870ELV, MLV, 2540MLV, 3850MLV, 3870MLV, Tiva 500 Lab, Tiva 600 Lab, Tiva 610 Lab, BSL3, BSL4, 667130, 428686, 366260, 358686, 498686, 728686

YYK500, SM Series, SM201, SM210, SM301, SM311, SM501, SM511, SM520. SM530, SM820, SM830, ST Series, ST201, 241105, ST301, 241106, ST501, 241107, ST511, 241108, SK Series, SK101C, SK111C, SN Series, SN200, 241005, SN210, 241054, SN300, 241006, SN310, 241055, SN500, 241007, SN510, 241056, SQ500, 241008, SQ510, 240157, SQ810C

BioClave Research Sterilizers, BioClave Mini, B4000-M, B4000-M-E, Bioclave 16, Bioclave 28, B4000-16, B4000-16-EWard’s Science

Ward’s Science:
FDA Approved Top Loading Autoclave, 470218-624, 470218-622, FDA Approved Front Loading Autoclave, 470218-626, 470218-628

PHC Corporation of North America:
MLS-3020U, MLS3781L, MLS-3751L

Market Forge:
Analog Sterilimatic Sterilizer, STM-E, STM-EL, STM-EX, STM-ELX, Digital Sterilimatic Sterilizer, STM-ED, STM-EDX

Revolutionary Science:
Saniclave Autoclave, Saniclave RS-SC-200 P, Saniclave RS-SC-200-220V, Saniclave RS-SC-250, Saniclave RS-SC-102, Saniclave RS-SC-50

Revolutionary Science:
Saniclave Autoclave, Saniclave RS-SC-200 P, Saniclave RS-SC-200-220V, Saniclave RS-SC-250, Saniclave RS-SC-102, Saniclave RS-SC-50

Amerex Instruments:
HVE-50, HV-Series, HV-25, HV-50, HV-85, HV-110, HVA-Series, HVA-85, HVA-110, HG-Series, HG-50, HG-80, HG-113, HG-133, HGS-113, HGS-133, HA-300MW, HRG-112, HGR-140, HGD-113, HGD-133, HVP-50, HRH-110, HA-300MD

Steam Sterilization Autoclaves, 6612V, 6617V, 8812V, 8817V, 81012H, 81017H, 101212H, 101217H, 101512H, 101517H, 101520H, 122112H, 122117H, 122120H

Priorclave North America:
Top Loading/Vertical, PNA/QCS/C60m, PNA/QCS/EV100, PNA/QCS/EV150, Front Loading, PNA/QCS/EH100, PNA/QCS/EH150, PNA/QCS/EH200, PNA/QCS/EH320, PS/QCS/EH150STK, Benchtop, PNA/QCS/C40, PNA/QCS/H60, Double-Door/Pass-Through, PNA/QCS/EH150D, PNA/QCS/EH200D, PNA/QCS/EH320D

and more!


Operating Capital Benefits

Operating Capital Benefits

Excedr's operating lease structure allows you to keep your business credit line open for expansions, staffing, and other operational expenses. Additionally, it strengthens the cash flow of your business and keeps cash reserves free for business development opportunities.

Effects on Credit

Effects on Credit

Leasing / renting provides you with non-dilutive financing and does not hinder your future borrowing ability. You're able to acquire the equipment you need without the baggage associated with traditional financing.

Speed of Approval

Speed of Approval

Excedr's program allows you to respond quickly as your need for equipment and technology arises. You can be approved with minimal documentation and have the equipment you need in operation and generating revenue for your business quickly.

Refurbished Equipment

Refurbished Equipment

Unlike traditional financing and leasing companies, the Excedr program can accommodate refurbished equipment in addition to demo units. If you are looking for additional cost-savings, we recommend considering this option.