A centrifuge is a device, which employs a high rotational speed to separate components of different densities. In many industrial jobs, solid material often mixes with liquids, contaminating water supplies or turning mud into sludge. A centrifuge is useful in that it separates solids and liquids, and has become an essential component of waste water facilities and the chemical, oil, and food processing industries. Moreover, without a centrifuge, many of these companies would become so inefficient they could not function.
The principle behind a centrifuge is based on the theory of gravitational separation. For example, if you fill a glass with a mixture of mud and water, over time the weight of the mud will cause it to settle down at the base of the glass. With the mud congealed at the bottom, the water will be forced upwards, creating a clear separation between the two.
A centrifuge employs the same principles of gravitational force. However, unlike the glass mixture, the process is expedited through the use of continuous rotation. In fact, rotation provides anywhere from 1000 to 4000 times the normal gravitational force, reducing the time required for separation from hours to seconds.
Advantages over other processes
- Centrifuges have a clean appearance and have little to no odour problems.
- Centrifuges are relatively easy to install and only require a small area for operation compared to other competitive processes.
- The centrifuge is a versatile machine and has many adjustments to allow for the optimization of various sludges.
- The centrifuge can operate with a higher throughput capacity than other methods, therefore saving time and money.
- The device is simple to optimise and operate as it has few major variables and reliable feedback information.
- The centrifuge has reduced labour costs compared to other processes, as it requires low continuous maintenance and operator attention.
- The machine makes minimal noise compared to other methods.
- Compared to some competitive process such as the belt filter process, the centrifuge has more process flexibility and higher levels of performance.