The Vacuum Test program is run with the sterilization chamber empty. The Vacuum test cycle MUST be run on a cold chamber so it should be your first cycle of the day. You are required to do this test each day you are going to use your Autoclave.
If the test fails, the cycle is automatically aboarted and a alarm message is showen. If this occurs contact ATS immediately.
What is the Vacuum or Air Leakage Test for?
This is used to test the efficacy of the air removal system and that the hydraulic system is perfectly air-tight. The test is defined according to EN 13060, which lays down that there must be a cycle that carries out this test on all autoclaves that have a vacuum phase for removing air. For this test the chamber is kept in isolation for a certain length of time and any increase in pressure due to re-entry of air is checked to make sure it is lower than a pre-defined value.
Helix and Bowie & Dick Test:
What is the Bowie & Dick Test for?
Its purpose is to check the degree of steam penetration in the case of porous objects (e.g. gauze or fabric) and the efficiency of the air removal system. The test consists of a package containing a chemical process indicator The test is positive if the chemical indicator changes colour in line with the information given by the producer of the test kit after going through a B&D cycle at 134°C for 3.5 minutes.
What is the Helix Test for?
Its purpose is to check the degree of steam penetration in the case of hollow objects and the efficacy of the air removal system. The test uses a Teflon tube open at one end only (length 1.5 m, internal diameter 2 mm), ending with a Teflon capsule, containing a chemical process indicator. This test simulates sterilizing a hollow load A cycle. The test is positive if the chemical indicator changes colour in line with the information given by the producer.
At the end of the program, remove the test device. If the steam has correctly penetrated, the ink will have completely changed color from what it was before, along the entire length of the strip; if not (insufficient penetration) there will be only a partial variation or none at all.
Example of a Helix Test
Example of a Bowie & Dick Test