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1979 Astell Swiftlock autoclave

Astell Retrospective – The Swiftlock Closure

Our renowned single-action quick release door mechanism can trace its origins to the late 1970’s.

Autoclave door closure used to be an untimely task. Once the load was positioned within the chamber, the door would be closed and secured using a series of swing bolts or wing nuts – each needing to be suitably tightened to maintain an air tight seal. See the About Astell page for some early examples.

Astell introduced a revolutionary autoclave closure method in the late ‘70s, as this extract from the 1979 Astell Hearson Laboratory Equipment Catalogue clearly shows. Selling alongside ‘standard autoclaves’ still utilising multi-bolt closures, the vertical and horizontal Swiftlock autoclave range offered ‘Easy and safe opening and closing’. As seen in the page excerpt below, the Swiftlock Closure was ‘quite radical in concept’ – utilising a series of interlocking teeth on both door and chamber front which lock together with a single movement of the handle. Its proved such a popular innovation that versions of the same Swiftlock closure concept are still in use today and can be found on our 120 – 344 litre Front Loading Autoclaves.

All our current Swiftlock sterilizers benefit from 316L electro-polished stainless steel chambers and utilise our standard safety linked door system, which is constantly monitored by Astell’s touchscreen controller, meaning a cycle cannot start until the door is properly closed and locked, and cannot be opened until the pressure and temperature (on fluid cycles) within the chamber is at a safe level. Amongst other safety features are doors that are thermally insulated to prevent the surface temperature presenting a potential hazard to operators.

Combined with selected options, Astell front loading autoclaves can be used to process most laboratory items including liquids, glassware, wrapped and unwrapped instruments and discard. For more information on how we can build a machine to meet your requirements, please Contact us.

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