5 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT CENTRIFUGE
A centrifuge is a piece of equipment that puts an object in rotation around a fixed axis (spins it in a circle), applying a potentially strong force perpendicular to the axis of spin (outward). The centrifuge works using the sedimentation principle, where the centripetal acceleration causes denser substances and particles to move outward in the radial direction. At the same time, objects that are less dense are displaced and move to the center. In a laboratory centrifuge that uses sample tubes, the radial acceleration causes denser particles to settle to the bottom of the tube, while low-density substances rise to the top.
1. Balance the tubes in the rotor! The total mass of each tube should be as close as possible - this becomes increasingly important at very high rotor speeds. Running a centrifuge with unbalanced load could permanently damage the centrifuge. It could also cause injury to you or someone else.
2. Do not open the lid while the rotor is moving.
3. If you see it wobbling or shaking, pull the plug. A little vibration is normal, but excessive amounts can mean danger.
4. Wear a face shield and / or safety goggles if you have to work anywhere near a centrifuge that's in use. Accidents happen-- sometimes under the most freakish or unexpected circumstances. The rotor is spinning very rapidly and generates extreme forces.
5. Do not bump, jar, or move the centrifuge while the rotor is spinning.