By Grainger Editorial Staff
Centrifuges rotate to create a centrifugal force used to separate particles, liquids and other substances that have different densities. More dense parts move away from the centrifuge's axis while less dense parts move toward the axis.
Particles at the bottom of the sample are the precipitate. The liquid that stays at the top is called the supernate or supernatant liquid. Depending on the procedure, centrifugation may be performed to capture either the precipitate or the supernate.
An important piece of lab equipment, it is crucial to make sure you are using your centrifuge properly and safely.
Centrifuges are sold with or without the rotors and have many options for adaptors to fit the different size centrifuge tubes on the market. Microcentrifuges can hold tubes as small as 0.2mL while larger models hold 500mL bottles. Centrifuges are even available with refrigeration to keep samples cold during processing.
By choosing the correct model for your needs and working safely with it, a centrifuge can be a workhorse in your lab for years to come.
The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.