Laboratory Centrifuge Maintenance and Repairs.

Centrifuge-Maintenance-Repair

  • A laboratory Centrifuge is an equipment used in the laboratory, which spins liquid samples at great speeds.
  • There are many different kinds of centrifuges which largely depends on the type of samples you wish to use. It works on the principle of sedimentation.
  • Thus here the substances with different densities are separated. It is a very efficient piece of equipment and usually does not require a lot of attention in terms of repairs or fixing.
  • But like very equipment it does demand that you use it properly and make sure it is shut down properly after each use.
  • At times rotor failures do occur which can also get quite dangerous for the operator present.

Thus to reduce the risk of such unexpected failures, the manufacturers recommend periodic maintenance of the equipment and have proper procedures laid out for that.

Laboratory Centrifuge Maintenance:

Laboratory-Centrifuge-Maintenance

  • Ideally the initial calibration of a centrifuge should be performed by a qualified service technician.
  • In an ideal world it would be best if maintenance procedures were carried out on a daily basis, monthly basis as well as annually.

Here is a brief guide as one could go about performing such maintenance routines.

Daily Maintenance:

Daily-Maintenance

  • It is a good practice to wipe the inside of the bowl with a disinfectant solution and rinse it thoroughly.
  • The operator should be alert enough to never use the centrifuge device if it is hot, or if unusual vibrations or noises occur, or if deterioration (of parts) is detected. In such a case it would be advisable to contact a qualified service technician.

Monthly Maintenance:

Monthly-Maintenance

  • As a monthly routine maintaining your laboratory centrifuge you should clean the centrifuge housing, rotor chamber, rotors and rotor accessories with a neutral cleaning agent. The centrifuge and the accessories should be cleaned with soap water or a mild cleaning agent with a pH value ranging from 6 to 8.
  • In addition to which you should also clean plastic and non-metal parts with a fresh solution.

Annual Maintenance:

Annual-Maintenance

  • It is necessary to get the centrifuge serviced by a qualified service technician who must ensure that the unit is operating safely and properly. It is usually best to contact the manufacturer or the supplier in order to get hold of a technician.
  • The service should include cleaning condenser coils, fans screens and filter.
  • It should also include checking the centrifuge brushes, bearings, timer, temperature and speed as well as the electrical integrity.
  • Ideally the service technician must issue an inspection certificate indicating compliance with safety and proper operations.

General Tips on Maintaining Laboratory Centrifuge:

Maintaining-Laboratory-Centrifuge

  • The responsibility of regular maintenance of the laboratory centrifuge usually likes on the shoulders of the laboratory technician or operator. It is a good idea to set a reminders either on your phone or computer calendar so that you don’t forget these important dates.

Here are a few important tips:

  • If during the operation of the centrifuge any liquids from the tube sample spills on the centrifuge device itself then this should be taken care of immediately.
  • Thus to avoid an chances of corrosion or damage such spills should immediately wiped off.
  • In addition to which it should also be allowed to dry thoroughly.
  • Optionally you can also oil the aluminium rotors and buckets though make sure it is dry first.
  • Since a damaged or cracked sample tube can easily deteriorate inside the centrifuge while in use and cause a lot of damage. And the most important of all, make sure you replace or repair any damage parts.
  • So the next time you come across someone asking as to what is equipment maintenance you will surely be in a good position to spurt out a quick answer.
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A comprehensive guide on Laboratory Centrifuge Safety

Laboratory-Centrifuge

  • Liquid samples are placed inside the centrifuge device and spun at high speeds in order to separate matter of different densities.
  • This seems like a harmless enough device to operate although like every other laboratory equipment this device too needs has a list of rules as well as dos and don’ts attached to it.
  • This harmless device could very well cause some serious accidents and thus it necessary to make sure that the device is handled by trained professionals and that they are aware of the safety measures; which is what this article is all about.

Safety Measures:

Safety Measures

  • Basic care and maintenance of the laboratory centrifuge is essential to ensure the proper functioning of the laboratory equipment.
  • Regular inspection of the equipment via the daily, monthly and yearly maintenance of the equipment helps make sure that the accidents are avoided.
  • This helps maintain safe working practices in a laboratory.

Here are a few safety measures mentioned to guide you while using a centrifuge device.

  • It is vital that you used the correct kind of glassware.
  • It is necessary use the glassware made from borosilicate glass since common glass can easily break or shatter thus causing damage.
  • It is important to note that different glassware has different implementations and are used for different purposes. For example in case of a laboratory centrifuge test tubes usually contain the sample.
  • The cleaning of the glassware is of utmost importance. Furthermore the faster you clean it after use the easier it is to successfully clean it.
  • Any crack detected in the test tube should not be ignored.
  • The test tubes should be inspected for cracks, chips or scratches in general prior to use and while storing. You need to be extra careful of the so called star cracks that usually form on the bottom of tubes.
  • As a precautionary measure, you should never leave glassware unattended. The basic reason being that the contents of the glassware (test tube) could either be toxin or hot and harmful to an unsuspecting tab technician or cleaner.
  • It thus should be handled and kept by the appropriate centrifuge operator.
  • It is our general instinct not to work bare hands when it come to broken glass. That said you should always ensure that you place all the broken glassware (test tubes, etc) in a box that is clearly marked like “Broken Glassware”., This will go a long way in ensuring the safety of everyone involved.
  • Make sure you do not overfill the test tubes or any other containers for that matter.
  • Make sure that the emergency cut-off switch is working and checked for the same regularly.
  • The electrical cords must be inspected during the maintenance procedures and the area surrounding the laboratory centrifuge must always be kept dry.
  • Make sure you close the centrifuge lid prior to operating it. Additionally most devices have an additional safety feature where the device shuts down if the lid is opened.
  • This feature if exists on you laboratory centrifuge should also be often tested to make sure it is functioning just fine.
  • It is necessary to place the centrifuge on a place surface and additionally it should also be vibration free.
  • It is important to never leave the laboratory centrifuge unattended.
  • Cleanliness is of utmost importance. The rotors and buckets should be kept clean.
  • Some basic checks should be made prior to use like making sure that the rotor is properly seated on the drive shaft.
  • The tube containers are required to be properly balanced in the rotor.
  • It may be possible to set a high speed on the centrifuge though it should never exceed the rotor’s maximum capacity.

Procedures for safe usage of Centrifuge device:

Centrifuge device1

There are several things to keep in mind during each stage of dealing with a laboratory centrifuge as mentioned here:

  • The centrifuge operators should be well trained prior to using the device itself. It is a good practice for them to read the manual too prior to actually using the device.
  • Make sure that you used rotors that are compatible with the centrifuge.
  • The O-ring should be examined to make sure it is not worn off, cracked or missing altogether.
  • It is vital to cap the tubes prior to centrifugation.
  • During the process of centrifugation, if you notice additional noise or vibration then the device should be stopped immediately and checked. This to check in such a situation include the balancing of loads.
  • After the process of centrifugation has come to an end you should allow the centrifuge to come to a complete stop before opening it.
  • Additionally the operator should be wearing gloves while handling the rotor and samples.
  • Again, once the process has been completed you need to check for possible spills and clean the centrifuge if required.
  • In case of dealing with biohazard substances, make sure you label the sample correctly and mention that it is a biohazard.
  • Ideally celluloid tubes should not be used when dealing with biohazard substances.
  • The exterior surface of the tubes should be wiped with disinfectants prior to loading into the rotor.

Thus a laboratory centrifuge may seem like a harmless device which is easy to use and maintain.

The fact is that it is a fairly safe device to use provided you use it correctly and make sure you are aware of all the possible things that can go wrong.

Equipping yourself with the knowledge of safety procedures and measure can go a long way in helping you stay safe and maintain health and safety in the laboratory.

Neuation is one company that designs and develops it’s own products and they are done by its very own R & D team. Thus the products are designed by keeping the safety of the operator and laboratory personnel in mind and are also very good quality and possess a good user interface.

A must read guide to buying a laboratory centrifuge

There are many different factors that you need to consider when investing in a laboratory centrifuge.

  • This small brief may have answered your questions as to what is a centrifuge used for in a lab; but it does not mention how to use a centrifuge or even what is the purchasing procedure of a centrifuge.
  • In general a laboratory centrifuge is used only by certified operators who are fully aware of the risks involved in operating the centrifuge device and thus can take the appropriate precautions.
  • That said it is not hard to operate a laboratory centrifuge though there are several facts that you should be aware off, but I digress.

Hence coming back to topic on the factors that you need to consider before buying a laboratory centrifuge; here are a few tips:

Capacity and size of laboratory centrifuge:

  • It is vital that you know the capacity of the centrifuge prior to buying it since the centrifuge is then governed by those limitations.
  • There are a limited number of sample tubes that can he placed inside a centrifuge for one given run.
  • Thus you need to make sure you know how many sample tubes you would generally require to place in the centrifuge at a time.
  • In general the maximum sample tubes that the centrifuge can hold in one run is called the capacity.
  • There are centrifuge rotors that can spin 18 to 24 1.5 ml to 2.0 ml tubes.

laboratory centrifuge Safety:

  • There may be times when you will have the need to use hazardous materials as sample inside the test tubes.
  • The basic instinct while using hazardous substances is to be wary of it.
  • With the centrifuge devices there are changes the tube may break while handling or transporting.
  • Such an incident could cause the entire laboratory to be contaminated. Additionally it is a good idea to make sure that the centrifuge device has as auto shut down feature if the lid is opened.
  • The rotor lid are at times made from plastic or metal. Plastic lids can be transparent and prevent corrosion while the metallic ones have the advantage of being stronger and thus don’t break easily.

Usability of laboratory centrifuge:

  • A laboratory centrifuge is used day in and day out in a laboratory and hence can take its toll on an operator.
  • This can very easily be prevented by making sure that the laboratory centrifuge selected at easy to operate.
  • A device that is easy to use and operate is bound to help improve the performance of the operator who is then less likely to make mistakes.
  • A centrifuge device which have feature where the rotors are interchangeable.

Additional factors that you should consider prior to buying a laboratory Centrifuge:

  • It is important to check the spin speed. Revolutions per minute of the centrifuge will vary and hence the speed requirements of your applications should be taken into account.
  • Furthermore the programmability of the centrifuge should be checked and made sure that it meets your individual requirements.
  • You also have a choice to make between a refrigerated and a non-refrigerated one. The interior of the refrigerated on will help to protect the sample from any damage caused due to heat.
  • Check the tubes as well which could be either plastic or glass.
  • Also take the dimensions of the tube into consideration since some centrifuges have tubes will small capacity that is not suitable for all experiements.
  • A centrifuge with a brushless motor would be virtually maintenance free and thus is an ideal option for just about any laboratory.And if a stainless steel bowl would be used, it will ensure that it can easily clean out.
  • Centrifuges that consist of a digital display showing status, time, speed and RCF(g) have a greater advantage again.
  • It is important to make sure you always look for a centrifuge with the latest technology. Usually good quality centrifuges that have the advanced technology are more accurate and better throughput.
  • Opting for branded centrifuges can go a long way in providing peace of mind and good quality.

Laboratory Centrifuge Specifications:

The technical specifications to look out for in a laboratory centrifuge are as below:

  • Capability and applications.
  • The programmability
  • Whether it is refrigerated or non-refrigerated.
  • Protocols for centrifugation.
  • Dimensions of the tubes themselves.
  • Protocols for centrifugation.
  • Sample volume and throughput.
  • Safety
  • Speed
  • Motor and noise level
  • Hermetically sealable lids on rotor or buckets.
  • Accuracy.

Recommended product

iFuge_L30P

iFuge  L30P Coming soon (under certification)

  • Single equipment for different work protocols with appropriate choice of rotors (swing and fixed angle)
  • Max capacity 4 x 100 ml (swing out rotor) – delivers upto 4500 RPM
  • Brushless DC motor for maintenance free long life
  • Large back–lit LCD display for easy reading of multiple parameters
  • USB port for remote terminal control – run and save operation data logs
  • User programmable (user can set upto 99 programs off 4 lines each)
  • Imbalance detection safety with auto cut off
  • Robust construction & lid lock for user safety
  • 1 touch short spin and RCF/RPM conversation

A Guide to the Laboratory Centrifuge

Laboratory Centrifuge:

ifuge_l30_new

  • A Laboratory Centrifuge is a very common laboratory equipment which is driven by a motor.
  • It spins the liquid samples placed inside it (the centrifuge) at very high speeds.
  • The Laboratory Centrifuges are available in many different types and mainly depend on the size and sample capacity that is required.
  • it is a piece of equipment that utilizes the principle of Centrifugal force.
  • Centrifugal force is an outward pushing force felt by the bodies moving in a circular motion.
  • The fact of the matter is that there is no outward force acting on body and thus this force (centrifugal force) is also known as a fictitious force.
  • This force generated is as a result of the combined effect of inertia and an inward pushing external force.
  • The centrifugal force only comes into play when the rotating objects are observed from the rotating of reference, an accelerating and therefore non-inertial frame of reference in the Newton’s laws of motion do not hold.
  • This force can be explained with a quick example of a child on a merry go round.
  • When the merry go round is rotating there is no real outward force but the child present on the merry go round needs to exert a force to prevent from falling off.
  • Thus greater the speed of rotation, the greater is the outward force.
  • The way this works is by creating a centrifugal force within the centrifuge by spinning the sample around a gravitational axis.
  • This causes force within the mixture also known as G-forces.
  • The separation process is influenced by the speed of rotation.
  • Once the mixture has been separated it can analysed and tested further.

Types of laboratory centrifuges:

meetus-ban

  • There are many different types of laboratory centrifuges and each device has a specific use.
  • Thus it is important to match the device with the application.
  • One should always use the right tool for the job; as the saying goes — Half the job is done when you pick the right tool.
  • The different types of centrifuges are listed here:

Micro-centrifuges:

These devices are used from small tubes from about 0.2 ml to 2.0 ml (micro tubes). There are usually compact in design and have a small footprint.

Clinical centrifuges:

These devices are mainly used for clinical applications likes blood collection tubes and are low speed devices.

Multipurpose bench top centrifuges:

These devices can be used for a broader range of tube sizes and have a high variability and bigger footprint.

Stand alone centrifuges:

These are heavy devices.

In addition to which there are centrifuges which have additional features like refrigeration. This is mainly for to maintain the proper temperature of the samples.

Use of Laboratory Centrifuge:

  • Laboratory Centrifuges are mainly used for testing liquids and other substances.
  • This includes substances like blood and other toxic material as well.
  • They can be used for separating substances of varying densities.
  • In addition to which they are also used for removing chylomicrons.
  • Some of the many uses includes steroid hormone assays, separating lipoprotein fractions for HDL, LDL and VLDL.
  • However there are many uses of a centrifuge in a laboratory.
  • It can be used in science and medical laboratories to separate proteins and chemicals by applying the centrifugal force to the container (as we discussed earlier).
  • The process separates substances of different densities.
  • Thus if we were to use blood as our sample, it would separate the plasma from the blood which is required for many different testing procedures. Furthermore blood banks also need them for the same reason.
  • The laboratory centrifuges at the blood banks are specially designed in fact.
  • They separate the blood and blood components from the whole blood like platelet, plasma, TBC and Crypectipitate.
  • Some of the other uses of a laboratory centrifuge include testing urine samples.
  • These test provide comprehensive results and help revel the virus resident in the specimen of the sick patient.
  • Chemical companies have also found this device quite useful for chemical analysis. In fact the cosmetic industry makes extensive use of centrifuges devices.

Benefits of having a Laboratory Centrifuge:

  • A laboratory centrifuge is a very versatile device that can utilize centrifugal force to separate substances of various different densities.
  • Thus in places like Blood banks where they require to separate the various different components of the blood sample in order to process it further; a laboratory centrifuge equipment is very useful.
  • That is just one process where a centrifuge comes in handy.
  • Centrifuges devices are also accompanied with a cooling device to keep them cool if the type of samples being used require that.
  • To top it all these devices are very easy to use.
  • It is important to note that it should not be operated without proper training.
  • But in general they are easy to operate and usually come with a few safety features. For example if the device is on and you happen to open the lid;
  • There is an auto shut down feature which shuts down the centrifuge. However it is necessary to operate it properly. For example it is required that you place an another test tube with sample of equal volume opposite to your sample in order to balance the centrifuge device. Failure to do so could result in a mess.
  • This is especially important when dealing with highly toxic substances.

Speed of the laboratory centrifuge:

  • The laboratory centrifuge is a device which is driven by a motor This spins the liquid samples at high speeds in order to effect the separation.
  • The speed of the laboratory centrifuge however varies as per the application of the device. For example a clinical centrifuge being used for blood collections tubes is a relatively slow speed device.
  • It is important to note that the samples should be properly balanced. Since when there are spun at such great speeds even a slight imbalance can cause result in a large force imbalance.
  • This could damage the centrifuge and even injure the operator in case of toxic substances.
  • There are also high speed centrifuges available although the application of such centrifuges differ.
  • It is important to consult a valid source for the necessary speed settings.

Recommended product

iFuge_L30P

iFuge  L30P Coming soon (under certification)

  • Single equipment for different work protocols with appropriate choice of rotors (swing and fixed angle)
  • Max capacity 4 x 100 ml (swing out rotor) – delivers upto 4500 RPM
  • Brushless DC motor for maintenance free long life
  • Large back–lit LCD display for easy reading of multiple parameters
  • USB port for remote terminal control – run and save operation data logs
  • User programmable (user can set upto 99 programs off 4 lines each)
  • Imbalance detection safety with auto cut off
  • Robust construction & lid lock for user safety
  • 1 touch short spin and RCF/RPM conversation