How does a centrifuge work?
The centrifuge gets its name from the centrifugal force—the imaginary force that pulls spinning objects outward. Centripetal force is the physical force that actually works, pulling a spinning object inward. Spinning a bucket of water is a good example of these forces at work.
The working principle of the centrifuge is to apply centrifugal force to the sample and separate the components of the sample according to the density of the sample.
Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Place the sample in a container, such as a test tube or rotor, and place it in the centrifuge.
Step 2: The rotor rotates at high speeds, typically thousands to tens of thousands of revolutions per minute (rpm), creating a centrifugal force that acts perpendicular to the axis of rotation.
Step 3: Centrifugal force pushes the denser components of the sample towards the outer walls of the container, while the less dense components are closer to the center.
Step 4: After rotating for a certain period of time, the rotor slows down or stops, and the separated components can be taken out of the container.
Step 5: The degree of separation depends on factors such as the size and shape of the vessel, the speed of rotation, the density of the sample components, and the duration of the rotation.
The advantages of the centrifuge separates
Centrifugation is a popular choice for many industrial applications due to its many advantages. For example, centrifugal separators have fewer moving parts than other types of separators and do not require filters, bags, screens, or canisters. In addition to their design advantages, these separators offer the following advantages:
The centrifugal separator is a reliable and maintenance-free option for your business. It’s equipped with an automatic flush valve to keep debris and contaminants out.
Minimum down time
The eddy rotational filtration system is highly effective and efficient. There is no need to change the filter more frequently, as with other liquid separators. This means that there is little to no debris buildup in the filter, and no chance of failure due to such buildup.
The centrifugal separation efficiency for solids with a gravity of 2.6 and water with a gravity of 1.0 is 98% for particles sized 40 microns and larger. For smaller particle sizes (44 microns and below), this efficiency decreases.
What is the purpose of centrifugation?
The main purpose of centrifugation is to separate particles from solution based on their size, shape, density, or other physical properties, and to purify or separate specific components of the sample. Centrifugation is a widely used technique in research, industry, and clinical laboratories.
It has many applications, including: