Autoclave Validation


Bowie & Dick test systems

It is important to ensure that your autoclave is functioning as it should do. A faulty autoclave can have dramatic consequences because the sterility of the instruments inside will be completely compromised.

The range of Bowie & Dick tests by VP Stericlin offers the user peace-of-mind as it accurately tests the functionality of the autoclave. Daily Bowie & Dick checks are vitally important, especially for accredited clean rooms which have to comply with certain quality standards.


Bowie & Dick single use test pack


The VP Stericlin single use test pack is the most common type of Bowie & Dick test in the market. Each single use test pack can be placed in the autoclave and taken through a cycle at temperatures of up to 134°C for approximately 3 minutes.

Once the sterilisation process has finished, the inner sheet should turn completely pink, thus indicating that sterilisation have been successful. The inner sheet will not change colour again over time and so therefore can be kept on record and presented to an external auditor. The indicator is also free from any heavy metals meaning that it is kind to the environment.

VP Stericlin are one of the few manufacturers who have possession of a test steriliser. This means they are able to validate their Bowie and Dick single use test pack and ensure conformance to ISO standard 11140-4. Furthermore, the VP Stericlin Bowie & Dick single use test pack is one of the few in the marketplace which possesses a British Standard Kitemark, offering the user a guarantee with regards to the performance of this product.

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Bowie & Dick Helix Test


A very cost effective alternative to the Bowie & Dick single use test pack is the Bowie & Dick Helix Test by VP Stericlin. VP Stericlin are one of the few manufacturers who produce such a product.

The Bowie & Dick Helix Test comprises of a re-usable metal box which contains the innovative helix system, 250 indicator strips and 2 plastic sealing caps. Special heat resistant gloves are also provided to prevent users from burning themselves when taking the Helix Test out of the steriliser.

Using the Bowie & Dick Helix Test is easy. Simply fix the indicator strip into the plastic cap and screw it into the metal box. Ensure the plastic cap is screwed on tightly and then place the whole Bowie & Dick Helix Test into the autoclave. Steam will penetrate inside and turn the indicator strip from blue to pink.

There is a significant cost and space advantage by adopting this sort of test as the Bowie & Dick Helix Test is re-usable up to 250 times, unlike the single use test packs. Each Helix Test works out significantly less expensive than using the equivalent single use test packs. Furthermore, the small indicator strips can be placed inside a special self adhesive A4 sheet with space to place the users signature and date.

The Bowie & Dick Helix test by VP Sterclin fully conforms with the requirements of ISO11140-4 and is free from any heavy metals.

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Test Bowie & Dick test system DIN A4 and DIN A5



The Bowie & Dick test system DIN A4 and DIN A5 by VP Stericlin are intended for users who wish to have a larger test sheet for their records. The test system comprises of three component parts: the test sheet (either in A4 or A5 size), the test pack and the stainless steel test frame.

The user will place the test sheet and test pack inside the metal frame. The frame is then squeezed together to hold everything in place before being placed inside the steriliser. The Bowie & Dick test sheet DIN A4 and DIN A5 fully complies with the requirements outlined in ISO standard 11140-3. This can be proven by VP Stericlin as they are one of the few manufacturers who have a test steriliser which can validate their products to certain standards.

The test pack is made from special filter paper which can be re-used up to 15 times. The metal frame can be re-used hundreds of times before it needs replacing. Like all of VP Sterclin’s products, the Bowie & Dick test system DIN A4 and DIN A5 is free from heavy metals and harmful substances.

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