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Fig 1: Clifton desk-top centrifuge
Fig 1


A device which separates substances by spinning them.


Bench-top centrifuges are used in many schools and colleges in chemistry and biology for isolating and separating types of cells and solutions.

The equipment usually consists of a rotor into which samples can be placed. They can then be rotated at varying speeds to achieve the desired separation.

Newer models may have safety switches which only allow the device to operate once the lid is firmly closed ensuring nothing is thrown from the high speed rotor. Older devices without lids which operate openly should not be used for obvious safety reasons.

The load inside a centrifuge needs to be carefully balanced. Small mass differences may cause an imbalance and result in damage to the device or injury. Refer to the manufacturer’s and CLEPASS guidelines before using the device.

The type of centrifuge you may buy will depend on its intended application in your school. Models vary greatly in price and specification. Integral timers, speed variation, safety locks and capacity are the main varying factors.


 CautionThe contents of this page are for information only. Please refer to CLEAPSS or ASE safety advice and/or publications before undertaking any preparation, practical experiment or using any equipment featured on this site or any other.