Centrifugation 101 Every time you use a centrifuge, you make series of choices. Which centrifuge, which rotor, which tubes and adapters, what speed, for how long, what level of containment. If you are unsure of your choice, ask an experienced colleague, consult the operating manual, or call the manufacturer’s representative.
Using Centrifuges Before placing the rotor in the centrifuge, make sure the bowl is dry and the drive spindle is clean Balance tubes and bottles carefully and avoid overfilling. If tubes used in fixed angle rotors, centrifugal force drives the fluid up the outside tube wall.
Using Centrifuges, continue Make sure the rotor is seated on the drive hub correctly Don’t overload beyond the rotor’s maximum mass without reducing the rated speed When using a horizontal rotor, make sure all buckets are hooked correctly and move freely
Using Centrifuges, continue Check O-rings on containers and rotors for cracks, nicks, or chemical attack. Apply vacuum grease to the seals at least weekly. Common user errors are failure to secure the rotor to the drive, failure to put the lid on the rotor, and failure to secure the lid.
Using Centrifuges, continue It is good practice to stay at the centrifuge until it is running smoothly at the desired run speed. When the run is complete, do not open door until rotor has come to a halt. Always check for possible spill. If you find one, be sure to clean both the centrifuge and rotor thoroughly
Care and Loading of Rotors Integrity of rotors can be compromised by corrosion or fatigue. • Keep rotors clean and dry. Wash immediately if spills occur or if salts or other corrosive materials have been used • Be gentle with aluminum rotors. Avoid harsh detergents or bottle brushes with sharp wire ends.
Care and Loading of Rotors • Inspect rotors regularly. If there are rough spots, pitting, white powder deposits, or heavy discoloration, do not run the rotor • Maintain rotor logs. Eventually every rotor must be retired and as ultra rotors age, their maximum speed must be de-rated. It is imperative to keep diligent logs.
Centrifuge Explosion Chemical detonation inside an ultracentrifuge Before
Centrifuge Explosion Chemical detonation inside an ultracentrifuge After
Centrifuge Explosion Damaged centrifuge well Aluminum Dust + Freon = Kablooey
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