Centrifuges

Only trained personel should operate centrifuges. They must be properly installed according to manufacturer recommendations.  It is important that the load is balanced each time the centrifuge is used and that the lid be closed while the rotor is in motion. The disconnect switch must be working properly to shut off the equipment when the top is opened, and the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operating speeds must be followed.

For flammable and/or hazardous materials, ensure the centrifuge is under negative pressure and connected to a suitable exhaust system. 

Take the following precautions when operating and inspecting centrifuge rotors:

  • Balance the load each time the centrifuge is used. The disconnect switch should automatically shut off the equipment when the top is opened.
  • Do not overfill the centrifuge tubes. Ensure that they are hung properly.
  • Ensure that the lid is closed before starting the centrifuge.
  • Do not overload a rotor beyond the rotor’s maximum mass without reducing the rated rotor speed.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operating speeds. Do not run a rotor beyond its maximum rated speed.
  • Check O-rings and grease the seals routinely with vacuum grease.
  • Do not use harsh detergents to clean the rotors, especially aluminum rotors. Use a mild detergent and rinse with deionized water, if possible.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for when to retire a rotor.
  • For flammable and/or hazardous materials, keep the centrifuge under negative pressure to a suitable exhaust system.
  • Keep a usage and maintenance log.
  • Always use the rotor specified by the manufacturer.
  • Inspect the components of the centrifuge each time it is used:
    1. Look for signs of corrosion of the rotors. Metal fatigue will eventually cause any rotor to fail.
    2. Ensure that the coating on the rotor is not damaged.
    3. Check the cone area for cracks, because this area is highly stressed during rotation.
    4. Look for corrosion or cracks in the tube cavity.