Significance of laboratory centrifuges

Know all about laboratory centrifuge, its parts, functions, uses & applications here!

What is a laboratory centrifuge?

A centrifuge is a piece of laboratory equipment used to separate heterogeneous mixtures. When the apparatus containing the mixture spins at a high speed, the centrifugal force pushes the heavier material to the bottom of the vessel. This helps separate the mixture based on differences in the density of the materials. This requires the mixture with a significantly large amount of difference in density.
Separations of mixtures is a critical step in various scientific experiments, thus knowing the technical features & how a centrifuge performs is important.

How does it work?

id move under the influence of gravity towards the bottom of the vessel. The rate at which the materials move depends on their size and density. The centrifugal force is greater than the force of gravity in order to speed up the sedimentation rate of particles.

A laboratory centrifuge consists of the following parts:

  • Rotor
  • Motor
  • Imbalance detector
  • Tachometer
  • Safety lid
  • Refrigerator
  • Braking system
  • Centrifuge tubes

Uses of centrifuge tubes

Tubes with conical bottoms are usually used in a swing-out bucket rotor for the sedimentation of cells. Round-bottomed tubes are used in high-speed rotors.

Types of centrifuges


There are various types of laboratory centrifuges with differences in speed and capacity. The centrifuge tubes used, also vary based on their capacities.

  1. Micro centrifuges- These are the ideal high-speed models that are recommended for micro-sample applications. This includes biological sample separations of cellular materials, RNA/DNA and peptides. Micro centrifuges offer complete flexibility and versatile usage with low noise levels.
  2. Clinical low-speed centrifuges- This model is usually recommended for general laboratory applications. This includes biological sample separations of cellular material, blood, urine, sperm, etc.
  3. Multi-purpose high-speed centrifuges/ Ultracentrifuges- Designed for large-volume working laboratories, this model is ideal for cellular and molecular biology applications, clinical preparations, industrial applications, etc.

Safety tips to follow while using a centrifuge:

  1. Ensure the centrifuge is well fixed and balanced on the surface counter. Do not use a centrifuge when kept on an uneven or slanted surface.
  2. The tubes in the rotor should be balanced. When you put a tube in the centrifuge, ensure that you put another tube containing the same quantity of water in the opposite hole on the rotor. If the liquids are higher or lower in density than water, balance the tubes by mass and not volume.
  3. Never open the lid while the rotor is moving.
  4. If you see the model shaking or vibrating excessively, turn it off or pull out the plug.
  5. Make sure you wear the required safety gear around the centrifuge.
Also read: Glassware to be used for Accurate Measurements

Now that you know all about laboratory centrifuges, we are sure Science Equip can assist you in finding the perfect centrifuge which suits your requirements. Apart from a variety of laboratory centrifuges, we also offer a wide range of scientific equipment. Do visit our website now!

  • Nov 22, 2019
  • Category: News
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