The practical use of the centrifuge was first made about 80 years ago, for the separation of cream from skim milk. In the years since, the applications to which centrifuges have become suitable are too numerous to mention. It is not my intention to give a complete history of centrifuges, but rather, to point out the benefits of the centrifuge to you in the industry. However, a short explanation of the principles is in order. Basically, the principles of a centrifuge are quite simple. Centrifugation is the separation of insoluble materials that have different specific gravities — whether 2 phase liquid-liquid mixtures, liquid-solid mixtures, or 3 phase liquid-liquid-solid mixtures. A centrifuge is merely a rotating settling tank, wherein the settling process is speeded up tremendously, to accomplish in seconds what may have needed hours, days, weeks and even months in a gravity settling process (See Figure 1).
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