Centrifuge: Types, Purposes and Advantages

Feb 16,2023

A centrifuge is an essential piece of industry equipment that separates substances according to their density, size, and shape by rotating at high speeds based on the principle of applying centrifugal force to mixtures.

Centrifuges are commonly used to separate liquids and solid particles, but can also be used to separate solid-liquid-liquid (not mutually soluble). Centrifuges are ideal for beverage and oils and fats applications. Additionally, it can be used in a variety of scientific, medical, and industrial applications, including cell biology, clinical diagnostics, blood banks, and wastewater treatment.

Centrifuges can come in different sizes and designs, from small laboratory benchtop models to large industrial machines used in manufacturing processes. This article will share the types, benefits and considerations for choosing a centrifuge.

Types of the centrifuge

There are different types of centrifuges designed for various applications, but here are some of the most common types of centrifuges:


Disk separator

A disc separator is a device used to separate solids from liquids in a slurry. It is commonly used in industrial applications where large volumes of slurry need to be handled.

Disk separators are usually made of stainless steel or other corrosion-resistant materials. They are available in a variety of sizes and can be custom designed to meet the specific needs of the application.

Decanter centrifuge

A decanter centrifuge is a special type of centrifuge used to separate liquids from solids. It is used in a variety of industries including food processing, oil and gas, and chemical manufacturing.

The working principle of a decanter centrifuge is to rotate a liquid and solid mixture at high speed, causing the solid particles to settle and the liquid to be forced out of the centrifuge. The separated liquid and solids can then be drained from the centrifuge at various points.

Tube centrifuges

Tubular centrifuges are used to separate particles in a liquid suspension based on their size, shape, and density. It is commonly used in clinical laboratories to isolate and purify cells, viruses, and other particles for further analysis.

Tube centrifuges generally include a spin diameter and a shorter height. Place the centrifuge tubes in a centrifuge, which spins at high speed, usually in the range of 14,000 to 20,000 RPM. The centrifugal force created by spinning the centrifuge tube causes heavier particles to settle to the bottom of the tube while lighter particles remain in suspension.

Vaccine Manufacturing with Disc Centrifuge Separation System

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.

High efficiency

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:

Separation of cells and organelles

Separation of cells and organelles

Cell and tissue sample separation is made possible by centrifugation. This process also allows for the isolation of specific organelles, such as mitochondria, nuclei, or ribosomes. The proper function of cells is dependent on the successful separation of these organelles. If they are unable to separate from one another, cells will not function properly.

Purification of biological samples

Purification of biological samples


Centrifugation can use the weight of a sample to separate it from impurities to ensure accurate results, such as cells, proteins or nucleic acids.

Protein and nucleic acid analysis

Protein and nucleic acid analysis

Centrifugation is a technique often used in molecular analysis to separate and purify specific molecules, such as proteins or nucleic acids, by taking advantage of their physical properties, such as size, charge, or density.

Preparation of diagnostic specimens

Preparation of diagnostic specimens

In clinical laboratories, centrifugation is often used to prepare diagnostic specimens, such as blood or urine, for analysis. This crucial step helps in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

Clarification of suspension

Clarification of suspension


centrifugation is a process that can remove solute particles from a solution by spinning the sample at high speed. This process can purify the sample, making it more clear.

Separation of immiscible solution

Separation of immiscible solution

The separation process of immiscible solution is based on the solvent extraction principle. This process is often used to separate equations in the laboratory. A variety of techniques can be used to separate immiscible solutions, including extraction, decaying, and centrifugation.

What to consider when choosing a centrifuge?

When choosing a centrifuge, there are many factors to consider to find the centrifuge that best suits your specific needs. Some of the main considerations are described below.

Speed range: When selecting a centrifuge, it is important to consider the speed of the rotor, as this will determine the maximum amount of force that can be generated. The faster the rotor speed, the higher the centrifugal force.

Set resolution: The centrifuge is equipped with options to set it to operate automatically without manual configuration changes or the need for human supervision.

Display Type: Centrifuge displays offer a wide variety of features, including liquid crystal displays (LCD), AMOLED displays, and specific display families.

Overall dimension: The overall size of the device depends on its purpose. Some industrial centrifuges are up to 5 meters wide, while some medical centrifuges are no wider than a 30-centimeter scale.

Centrifuge weight: Different scientific centrifuges vary widely in weight, with some models weighing as little as a few kilograms while others can weigh up to 15t.

Energy efficient: VFDs can help reduce energy consumption by regulating the speed of the centrifuge’s motor. This can be particularly effective during low-load operation, where the motor can be operated at a lower speed to conserve energy.



Centrifuges help us with various tasks in our daily life. As a leading supplier and manufacturer of centrifuge machines, Huading has over six decades of experience in designing and producing all manner of centrifugal separation machinery.

We specialize in producing advanced centrifuge-related technology that meets the highest industry standards and customer requirements. Our team has extensive knowledges in this field, along with comprehensive operations and engineering expertise. If you have any questions or problems with your centrifuge, please contact us at [email protected] and we will be happy to assist you.

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