A centrifuge is often described as a laboratory workhorse. The device offers dependable performance to spin experimental samples at high speed and separate sample components for diagnosis and treatment.
While rotational speed and capacity are important factors to consider when purchasing a centrifuge, safety is paramount. Here are some important considerations when it comes to safety with lab centrifuges:
Secure lid: A centrifuge with a secure interlocking lid is a preferred option. The lid must be such that it stays latched until the rotor stops or shuts off the motor when the lid is opened.
Slip-resistant features: Spills can occur if the instrument tends to wobble and slip. For instance, take a model like the Octafuge Plus 220V by Block Scientific. It comes with a wide stance that prevents vibration and suction-cupped feet to eliminate slipping. Of course, labs should always be prepared for chemical spills by keeping a chemical spill kit handy. Lab personnel should be trained to handle spills.
Installation: Centrifuges should be properly installed and operated only by trained lab personnel.
Safe operation: Load should be balanced and the lid shut properly before the rotor is activated. Make sure that the disconnect switch is working properly. Some models come with an auto-off timer and bell. The manufacturer’s instructions on safe operating speed should be strictly followed.
Alerts: An audible alert when operation is complete is a very useful feature.
Warranty: Always buy a centrifuge that comes with a manufacturer warranty.
Service: Make sure that the vendor offers prompt maintenance and repair service to keep your centrifuge in top working condition. Adhere to manufacturer guidelines for cleaning and maintenance.
Technological advancement has greatly revolutionized centrifuge design. For instance, the rotors come in a variety of sizes and configurations to accommodate varying tube sizes, number and speeds. Brushless motors eliminate the possibility of the brushes wearing down with use, and also ensure whisper-quiet operation and greater accuracy.