How Centrifuges have Evolved in The Last 10 years

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Technology

Centrifuges are one of the greatest inventions in the industrial sector. The history of centrifuges dates back to 1864 when Antonin Prandtl suggested the idea of using a dairy centrifuge to separate milk from cream. His brother Alexander implemented the idea with improvements to the original design. He successfully ran the first butterfat extraction machine in 1875. Over the years this technology has been employed in many devices. From the most basic items like washing machines to complex oil separation centrifuges, the technology is all around us. However, centrifuges have seen numerous developments and improvements over the last decade.

 

Increased capacity

Solid bowl centrifuges use the principle of sedimentation to separate components of a solution. The separation occurs due to the difference in densities in the solutions fed to the system. From the separation, both solid and liquids components are extracted. The solid accumulates in the bowl while the liquid drains into the outlet pipe. Although this system sounds simple, the efficiency of the centrifuge is limited by the capacity of the bowl. Older centrifuges had a low bowl capacity resulting in fast accumulation of sediments in the system. Fast accumulation meant frequent removal and cleaning which interrupted the separation process. Modern centrifuges have large capacities allowing for long hours of operation without cleaning.

The IC-45M is a high-quality centrifuge that has a solid bowl holding capacity of 3 litres. Since the IC-45M is a manual clean centrifuge it requires cleaning of the solids by scraping and removing by hand. The separation process has to stop and bowl removed for the cleaning. With the huge capacity of 3 litres, this interruption is not frequent. The large holding capacity also guarantees an efficient separation process. A special tool provided with the centrifuge is used to remove the high-speed bowl. An optional weight detection system also comes with modern centrifuges to alert the operator when the bowl is full and needs cleaning.

 

Automated cleaning system.

Modern centrifuges like the IC-45A run an automated bowl cleaning system. The result is an uninterrupted operation with automatic ejection of solids. Four load cells are installed in the system for weight detection following solid extraction. Once a particular threshold is reached the automatic removal of solids is activated. Lighter weighted solids may not have significant weight difference from the filtered liquid. This may not trigger the automatic clean function, therefore, a timer is installed to activate the system periodically. The automatic self-cleaning function is convenient and allows uninterrupted operation.

 

A sturdy build.

The rotation of a centrifuge is not free of friction. Therefore, corrosion of surfaces is one of the biggest problems in the system. Traditional centrifuges were constantly stopped for repairs or replacement of components. Modern centrifuges have a sturdy build that is guaranteed to last you. Lightweight stainless steel is the material of choice for most bowls. This makes removal of the bowl easy and offers safety against accidental damage. A heavy machined cast aluminium lid and bucket house the spinning bowl. For standard use, a powder coating is used on the housing.  An optional chemical resistant and FDA approved coatings are used for specific applications. Some centrifuges have nickel plating for protection against waste oils. The well-balanced steel bowl allows for efficient separation and minimal corrosion of surfaces.

 

A more efficient system

Over the years centrifuges have become more efficient and effective in the separation of contaminants than 1 micron in size. The processing rate of centrifuges has greatly improved with modern centrifuges having processing rates of up to 4800 litres. This efficiency is attributed to the design of modern centrifuges and their ability to generate higher G forces. Longer exposures to the gravitational forces greatly improve the separation of solids from liquids. This can be achieved by adjusting the supply rate to the centrifuge.

 

Additional features

Modern centrifuges come with numerous standard and optional fittings that are only unique to them. The supply pump comes with a VSD control and flow metering control. A B2B monitoring can also be put in place for fault alert. A vibration sensor is also installed in the system. The design combines four-point dampeners for vibration isolation. This helps keep everything in a balanced state. Acidic levels are assessed through a pH dosing system. A weight detection system is hooked to the alert mechanism of the centrifuge. With all the additional features in place, your centrifuge is guaranteed an efficient performance.

Although centrifuges are now more efficient and effective in separating solutions, the developments in this system of separation are far from over. The use of centrifuges extends to water waste management, coal treatment, polymer manufacture and oil manufacture. With increased use and application in different industries, there will always be a need for improvements. The evolution of centrifuges has only just begun.

 

Source: History of Industrial Centrifuges from the 1700s to Modern Day | Interfil

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