Dry Heat Vs. Steam Sterilizers for Vivariums

Sterilization is essential for vivariums and many other containers in the animal and life sciences industry. Thorough cleaning of vivariums is crucial for the health and safety of the animals that are kept within and the workers that come into contact with both animals and vivariums. In this blog post, we will look at the critical features of dry heat and steam sterilizers for vivariums and the advantages of each.

Vital metrics in vivariums that can be controlled include humidity, lighting, and temperature, which are all critical to make sure animals are living in conditions similar to their natural habitat. Without these conditions, the animals may react and become unsuitable subjects for testing.

Which Sterilizer is More Suitable for Vivariums? 

Like any equipment, vivariums also need to be sterilized to remove contaminants and maintain a safe environment for animals and personnel. A range of sterilizers available on the market could be suitable for your application. 

Two of the main types of sterilizers are dry heat sterilizers and steam sterilizers, each of which has key features and benefits. In this section, we will outline those features and discuss which one is more suitable for sterilizing vivariums.

Dry Heat Sterilization

Typically, dry heat sterilization is used for sterilizing glass and metals by using electricity and exhausts. This process is carried out over a more extended period at high temperatures to kill microorganisms by oxidation.

The benefits of dry heat sterilization are that it is a non-toxic, environmentally friendly method suitable for materials damaged by steam. Another advantage is that it’s non-corrosive for metal devices.

However, the drawbacks are that this is a slow process with poor temperature uniformity and any materials that cannot withstand high temperatures for long periods cannot be sterilized via the dry heat method. Other disadvantages are that the process cannot be controlled well if given specific temperature limits, and high temperatures over a long period can reduce the lifespan and performance of the material.

Steam Sterilization

Steam sterilization is also known as moist heat sterilization and is used to kill microorganisms with steam under pressure. This sterilization method uses electricity, steam and water, making it slightly less energy efficient than the dry heat method.

The main advantages of this method are that it is suitable for a wide range of materials, including plastic, rubber, surgical equipment and many others. It is a much quicker process with a high penetrability rate than dry heat sterilization.

Some disadvantages of this method are that steam sterilizers require a pit for rolling equipment in, and the equipment is heavy and adds large amounts of weight onto a floor.

ARES Scientific: Sterilizers 

ARES Scientific is an industry leader in terms of vivarium equipment. We supply a comprehensive range of integrated vivarium equipment, including caging, isolators, sterilization equipment, and many other pieces.

We recommend steam sterilizers for vivarium equipment because they offer faster, more penetrable sterilization. The ARES Scientific Consolidated Medium Lab Series Sterilizers offer various sizes and various programmable options to suit your sterilization needs. Our equipment is frequently used in animal and life science, biology, and pharmaceutical applications.

Contact us today if you’re ready to make a purchase. Alternatively, please visit our vivarium industries webpage for more information on how we support our clients with vivariums and associated equipment.

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