I know I do not have to go into why heat sterilization is important for needles and hoops and cutting tools, but after an accidental SAB alcohol vapor ignition (no one hurt, no equipment damage, just scary blue flames) I started thinking about a safer way to do this without flame or sparks. With a SAB the only way to sterilize is either have the flame source in the SAB or just outside of it. Being outside presents a risk of contamination on the way into the box and if you have a sealed box with gloves that is not an option. So what could I do? Being an engineer I started thinking about magnetic induction. How about a coil of heavy gauge wire around a high temp glass tube? The coil would not get hot and the glass could be removed for sterilization and also keep the tools from contacting the coils which could burn the coil insulation? The only thing that would get hot would be the metal object in the coil. This would not guarantee any ignition of flammable vapors but it would be way safer than having an open flame under your arms all the time. This would also be great for a flow hood since you could keep it in the airstream because there is no flame to put out!
I have already designed a small DC high-speed magnetic oscillator circuit and coil and have tested it with my lab power supply. It can heat a needle red hot in 5 seconds on 5 volts and if I crank the voltage up to 12 volts it will heat a 3/8" bolt red hot in the same amount of time. The only problem I encountered so far is power adjustment. The power must be adjusted for the thickness of metal. I tried 12 volts on a needle and it pretty much vaporized in two seconds, but 5 volts was perfect for needles and hoops. I had to bump it to 8 volts for larger scalpels and such. Not a real issue in my opinion once you get used to it.
Any thoughts? Comments? I have searched for inductive sterilizers of this small size online and have found nothing. The only thing I have seen that even comes close to it is the infrared needle sterilizers and they have to warm up, use a lot of power and get hot as F***! Wouldn't it be nice to have a small on-demand heat source that remains cold to the touch no matter what and does not have to be warmed up and barely uses 20 watts of power and small enough to be placed directly in front of a flow hood? Or am I way off base here?
I apologize if this topic is in the wrong place, please move it if I made a mistake.