Buying a Sterilization Tray can be a significant investment to protect your surgical instruments so which type of sterilization tray is better?
Plastic or Aluminum?
To decide that you first must understand the different methods of sterilization, how heavy your use would be and your budget
Here’s a quick at the 5 most common sterilization methods:
- Steam Sterilization – is a non-toxic and inexpensive sterilization method where each item is exposed to direct steam for a specified duration, temperature, and pressure. Steam sterilization is best used for items that are heat and moisture resistant.
- Flash Sterilization – is a modification of steam sterilization. Items are placed on an open tray to allow rapid steam penetration. It is used for cleaned items that can’t be sterilized and stored before use. It is also used for urgent sterilization but should not be an alternative out of convenience.
- Ethylene Oxide sterilization – also known as gas sterilization. Gas sterilization is used for items that are moisture and heat sensitive.
- Hydrogen Peroxide Gas Plasma – plastics, metal alloys, and electrical devices that can’t tolerate high temperature and humidity can be sterilized with hydrogen peroxide gas plasma.
- Peracetic Acid Sterilization – is a form of chemical, low-temperature sterilization.
So which sterilization tray is right for you?
- Plastic – should be used for gas and chemical sterilization methods and carefully with with heat and steam methods. Great for doctors office /clinic environment
- Aluminum – can be used for gas, chemical, heat, and steam sterilization methods. They are expensive but have longest life due to aluminum construction. These are perfect for heavy use in surgery centers as they cool down quickly as Aluminum dissipates heat quickly.
Remember to consider these points as well:
- Size of sterilization tray
- Instrument holders and cushion mats on the tray
- Size of instruments to be sterilized
- Autoclave slot size
Plastic trays are definitely cheaper and great value for money but aluminum trays are more durable and heat resistant.
Have you decided which one you’d need?