Centrifuges: what do they do and how do they work?


Centrifuges: what do they do and how do they work?

In: Technology

They spin at fast speeds in a circular motion, by them being able to do this, they exert a centripetal force to seperate things. If you want to know how they they seperate pulp from juices, you either strain it, or use a centrifuge.

It’s a machine that spins incredibly fast.

It works based on the concept of centrifugal force which is like the effect you get on those spinning rides at faires that pin you against the outside wall.

So they’re used for all manners of purposes such as pumping a liquid using centrifugal pumps which clings the fluid to the outside of the container and displaces it in a certain direction.

Or also used to separate different density fluids in a closed container like oil from water in purifiers.

Hope this helps a bit.

Think about how a balloon full of helium floats. The helium is less dense than the rest of the air, so as gravity pulls on everything it pulls on the helium just a little less, and the rest of the air a little more, and the helium gets kind of squeezed to the top.

That happens whether or not the helium is concentrated in a balloon, but without the rubber to hold it in place the helium gets scattered a lot. Sure, it’ll make its way up but it’ll bounce around a lot and get mixed up with regular air.

Liquids and colloids (particles suspended in liquids) will do the same thing, but liquids have a much harder time moving past each other.

A centrifuge causes a kind of artificially stronger gravity by spinning really fast, causing centrifugal force. That extra force makes the liquid separate much faster (or at all) than it would normally. Once separated that way, you can siphon off the different components and take what you want, and ditch the rest.

This is really useful for something like donating plasma from your blood. The red blood cells can be separated out from the liquid so they can keep the plasma (which doesn’t have a blood type) and give back the cells.

It’s a spinny thing that spins and puts all the heavy things at the bottom and the lighter things on top like oil and water. It’s seperate a mixture of liquids blood

There are some centrifuges that spin so fast now that they must be kept in a vacuum otherwise the system will overheat due to air friction, similar to what happens when a space shuttle reenters the atmosphere! Pretty neat stuff