A centrifuge is an instrument used to separate the various components of a mixture. Based on the density and mass of the components, different materials have different buoyant properties in water. Centrifuges are used to separate solid particles from a liquid or gaseous medium by their density. In a centrifuge, the heavier particles will settle at the bottom while lighter particles remain suspended at the top. There are several types of centrifuges, each with its own unique design features and specialties. Rotor technology is essential for high-performance centrifuges that need to separate materials quickly and efficiently. Let’s look at what rotors are in a centrifuge and how they can help your lab or manufacturing site achieve peak performance.
What is a Rotor in a Centrifuge?
The rotor is the spinning part of a centrifuge that holds the sample tubes. It is usually made of aluminum or carbon steel and withstands high speeds and temperatures. Less expensive centrifuges are composed of plastic parts, which wear out and break easily. The rotor holds sample tubes in slots that rotate at extremely high speeds. The rotation of the rotor increases the speed of the sample within the tube to an extreme level, causing the heavier particles to be thrown out of the sample. The centrifugal force, which is generated by the high-speed rotation of the rotor, makes the heavier particles fall toward the bottom of the tube.
Types of Rotors in a Centrifuge
There are two basic types of rotors in a centrifuge: fixed-angle rotors and swing bucket rotors. Fixed angle rotors are the most basic rotor design. These Single-container rotors are used to separate simple mixtures and are unsuitable for industrial applications. Swing bucket rotors are used for heavier, more viscous materials. Swing bucket rotors can be adjusted to different angles and can be designed with different numbers of cells.
Why Are Rotors Important in a Centrifuge?
Several critical components of a centrifuge make rotors important for performance:
- Speed – The faster the centrifuge spins, the greater the centrifugal force. Rotors rotate at top speeds, ranging from 1500 to 28000 rpm.
- Volume – Rotors can fit many tubes in a small amount of space.
- Weight – Rotors must be made with materials that can withstand the high speed and high volume of a centrifuge.
- Sturdiness – Rotors must be sturdy enough to withstand frequent cleaning and long-term use.
- Durability – Rotors should be able to last for many years since any moving part will wear faster. The manufacturing process plays an important role in ensuring the quality control of these components.
How to Choose Rotors for Your Centrifuge?
Centrifuges are designed for high-throughput sample preparation and precise analysis. To achieve these goals, you must choose rotors that suit your application and suit your budget. Rotors can be made of different materials and come with unique features. You may have to switch the rotors depending on the application and type of tube being used to spin down. It can be a hassle switching back and forth, especially if you need tools to screw down and unscrew each one. Multiple rotor systems need to be balanced and take up a lot of space since they are horizontally spaced out.
Rack-in-rotor technology is an interesting concept that allows for more efficient loading and unloading of samples. The rotor of the centrifuge allows for stackable racks, which take up less space. Racks are easy to load and unload since we can change them with no tools, and you can fit more tubes at a time. Overall, rack-in-rotor technology makes centrifuges faster and more convenient to use. You can learn more about TOMY’s rack-in-rotor technology, in this article.
The centrifuge plays a key role in many applications, such as biological and chemical testing, pharmaceutical production, and clinical analysis. A centrifuge is an instrument used to separate the various components of a mixture by their density. Rotors are the spinning part of the centrifuge that holds the sample tubes. Rotors are designed for top speeds and high volume to create the centrifugal force that causes heavier particles to fall toward the bottom of the sample, while lighter particles remain towards the top. The faster the centrifuge spins, the stronger the centrifugal force becomes, and the more likely the particles will be thrown out of their original positions. Rotors are made of different materials and have different features. Be sure to choose rotors that suit your application and your budget.