Types and classes of autoclaves

The autoclave is a device used to sterilize reusable medical or cosmetic tools. We distinguish 3 classes of autoclaves: N, S and B. How do they differ from each other, what is their purpose and what autoclave to choose to be suitable for the type of services we provide?

Autoclave classes

1. Class N autoclave

Class N autoclave is the lowest class device. According to European standard EN 13060, since 2004 it can be used only as an auxiliary unit. Sterilizer of this class does not have a vacuum pump (which is present in higher class autoclaves), so only instruments with a solid structure can be sterilized within such device. It is also not possible to sterilize hollow or porous cartridges or sterilize items in packages. Class N sterilizers also do not have an effective drying option, unlike more advanced autoclaves.

2. Class S autoclave

Class S autoclave is an intermediate class between N and B. Within such device we can sterilize more complex instruments, B type batches, except for instruments of capillary construction (A type batches). Class S allows the sterilization of single-packed, multilayer packed and more massive instruments, which cannot be sterilized in class N autoclaves. Autoclaves of this class have a vacuum pump, which makes it possible to completely remove the air from the chamber before starting the sterilization process. However, only a single-stage pre-vacuum is used here; it is less effective than the vacuum used in class B autoclaves.

3. Class B autoclave

Class B autoclaves are the most advanced steam sterilizers. These are certified medical devices used in beauty parlours, tattoo studios, private dental parlours, even in hospitals and large clinics. They also meet all the sanitary-epidemiological requirements. They can sterilize all types of batches, even the most complex ones. Class B autoclave, thanks to fractionated pre-vacuum, completely removes air from the chamber. It is the most effective modern technique of  sterilization of all types of tools.

Description of available models

Enbio S

Enbio S is a compact – the smallest on the market! – steam autoclave designed for instrument sterilization. It is used in beauty parlours, tattoo and piercing studios. It is also used in private medical clinics and in dental parlours. This autoclave is a top class B device, it is CE certified and registered as a medical device. It meets 100% of the sanitary requirements, This is also the fastest device on the market – it allows the sterilization process to be carried out in just 7 minutes. It is designed for sterilization of reusable instruments of any type – even these of the most complicated construction, both unpackaged and packaged. It holds up to 8 tool packs. Enbio S weighs 15 kg and its dimensions are 56 x 25 x 16 cm – thanks to that it will easily fit on a standard worktop.

Enbio Pro

Enbio Pro is a larger device than Enbio S. It was designed mainly for sterilization of dental, surgical and cosmetic tools, even those with the most complicated structure. It holds up to 16 tool packs – twice more than Enbio S. The volume of the working chamber is 5,3 liters; it meets the capacity of all popular implant cassettes. The Enbio Pro weighs 20 kg, and its dimensions are 56 cm x 27cm x 20 cm. Moreover, this autoclave is characterized by the FAST option, which can be used to sterilize unpackaged instruments – in such case the whole process takes only 10 minutes. Enbio Pro, just like Enbio S, has all the certificates approving it as a medical device, meets the requirements of a sanitary facility and, due to its relatively small capacity, The combination of unique design and great attention to detail led to the creation of a table dedicated to Enbio S and Enbio PRO autoclaves users. Enbio Table not only has an aesthetic function – it also hides unattractive water containers. Enbio Table has a shelf where you can store documentation from the sterilization processes. The tabletop is resistant to all splashes and moisture, and the 5 cm diameter castors allow to you move the autoclave easily –according to the needs.

How to choose an autoclave?

1. Which purpose will it serve?

It is essential to ensure sterilization at every place where reusable tools are used. That is why every such place should have an autoclave, preferably a class B device which is the most versatile model. B class autoclave makes possible to sterilize instruments of any design (type A and B batches), both unpackaged and packaged. In addition, class B autoclaves ensure full safety and effectiveness of sterilization process. Remember that only sterilized instruments provide protection against infection with diseases such as hepatitis B and C, HIV and diseases caused by Candida fungi.

2. Autoclave’s capacity

Enbio company offers the following models of its autoclaves: Enbio S, Enbio Pro and Enbio S Black. Enbio S and Enbio S Black (differing only in colour) are the smallest autoclaves available on the market (25 cm wide x 16 cm high x 56 cm long). They are also the fastest on the market – the entire sterilization process takes only 7 minutes. Such short time of sterilization makes possible to carry it out even between one treatment and another. The volume of the process chamber is 2,7 liters. Such capacity allows for the simultaneous sterilization of up to 8 packages of instruments. Such an autoclave can be used in beauty parlour, podiatry parlour, tattoo/piercing studio, as well as in smaller private medical clinics. Enbio PRO is a larger autoclave model. It has a much larger process chamber – its volume is 5,3 litres. It will accommodate all popular implant cassettes. Its size allows for simultaneous sterilization of up to 16 tool packs, which is twice more than for Enbio S. At the same time, it is not much bigger than the other models – Enbio Pro weighs 20 kg and its dimensions are: 56 cm x 27 cm x 20 cm. This autoclave will work in larger beauty parlours, dental parlours and medical clinics.

3. Noise level

Enbio autoclaves are changing the philosophy of work – they are extremely quiet and compact. These are very important qualities, because working device would be heard every day. It is therefore important that autoclave is not inconvenient for employees and customers. The Enbio S and Enbio Pro autoclaves provide acoustic comfort at work – they produce less noise than popular coffee machines (42 dB(A)).

4. Warranty and service

The autoclave is a device that has to be used every day, because instrument sterilization has to be carried out continuously. The broken device makes sterilization process impossible to carry out which cannot happen. That’s why Enbio autoclaves have 2 year door-to-door warranty. 24/7 service is also available. In case of a device failure, a replacement device is sent or the new one is given (as long as it´s within warranty, it´s a new device, not replacement).

5. Design

In past autoclaves were not very aesthetically pleasing devices and they were taking up much space. These days are gone though. Enbio autoclaves are not only the highest quality devices  – they also make an interesting, pleasing to the eye, integral part of parlour equipment. It is important especially for small salons and parlours. Thanks to its compact dimensions, the Enbio S autoclave can be even placed on a standard worktop. What's more, its unprecedented design was awarded in the international design competition RedDot. The sterilizers are also available in many colours  – white, black, blue, yellow, pink and green. That’s why they fit into the decor of every parlour or salon.

6. The duration of sterilization process

It is known that a larger autoclave needs a little more time to sterilize the tools than a smaller one, but in both cases it is a relatively short process. The Enbio S autoclave has 3 working programs. In the 134°C FAST program, sterilization itself takes 3,5 minutes and a whole process’ total duration is only 7 minutes. The standard 134°C program, which also includes a drying stage, takes 15 minutes (with sterilization process taking only 4 minutes and drying – 3 minutes). The 121°C program, the longest one, takes 30 minutes, including the drying stage. The Enbio Pro autoclave also offers 3 programs with lengths of 10, 18 and 31 minutes. Each of them is designed for different types of instruments. However, in each case the sterilization time is short and does not hinder the admission of subsequent patients  – it is possible to sterilize instruments on an ongoing basis.

7. Collecting data on the sterilization process

It is the responsibility of each parlour to keep records of the sterilization process. They must be kept for 2 years. Some of the autoclaves available on the market are equipped with printers that can generate data about the sterilization process, but this is not necessary anymore. Enbio gives the possibility to store data on a dedicated pendrive, and print them on any printer at a convenient time.

Enbio Safe certification

Let's remember that you never know who used the services of e. g. beauticians. Nowadays, sterilization is an obligation not only in dental parlours, but also in beauty salons, aesthetic medicine clinics – shortly, in all places where the skin is or may be broken. It is extremely important to raise awareness about the safety of treatments and prevention of dangerous infections. If you have a safe parlour with Enbio autoclave – inform your patients about it. Let others know that they can feel safe from disease. The Enbio Safe certificate builds the opinion of a safe parlour and that’s why it can (or should) be placed in the sight of customers or directly on the autoclave.