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Facts at your Fingertips: Centrifuge Separation Capacity

By Scott Jenkins |

This one-page reference describes how to measure the capability of a given centrifuge to separate solids from a liquid phase. G-force The centrifugal force developed by a centrifuge is expressed as a multiple of the force of gravity. This force, known as the G-force, is proportional to the distance from the axis of rotation and the square of the rotational speed, as shown in Equation (1). G = 39.48 n 2 r / g                    (1) Where: G is the G force n  is the rotational speed, revolutions per second (rev/s) r  is the distance from the axis of rotation, cm g  is acceleration due to gravity, which has a conventional standard value of 981 cm/s2, but depends on altitude Equation (1) indicates the primary parameters available to designers to obtain the desired G-force — the diameter and rotor rotational speed. The G-force is not uniform throughout the centrifuge. The force is smallest near the axis of rotation, and then increases linearly in the radial direction. Typical G-forces developed by several types of centrifuges vary widely, ranging from a low of 600 × g for the single-chamber bowl centrifuge, to as high as 1,000,000 for the ultracentrifuge (Table 1). Values at the high end are sufficient to…
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