DIY table top centrifuge

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A centrifuge is a rotating body with very high RPM. The vial holders at the edge of the body spinning at high rpm are used to separate substances of different densities.


You will need,

1. Blender – One which has variable speeds would be better

2. Jar – a small one, since we’ll need only the bottom part that attaches to the blender

3. Strips of metal – make sure the edges are completely filed off to be safer

4. Test tube holders – I used PVC pipes here with caps that fit very snugly

5. Latches – Small in size to fasten the tubes to the metal strips


How our centrifuge works

The first thing I would like to say about this project is PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

Well now, if you had to take that seriously then this would barely be a do-it-yourself workshop! I’ve had good fun making this centrifuge and one thing I’ve learned for sure is anything that spins very fast can cause serious damage! So for what it matters, please DO take extra precaution while trying to make this.

I went about this using the basic principal of the centrifuge which is that anything that spins has a force that pushes away from it called the ‘centrifugal force’ so if I have a motor than spins then anything attached to it will be thrown away.


Procedure

As simple as it sounds but that’s all you need. Follow these few steps and you’ll have your centrifuge up and running in no time!


1. Dismantle the upper portion of the jar so that we remain with only the unit that attaches to the blender

2. Make a hole in the center of the two metal strips. This hole has to be exactly in the center so measuring it will be a good option. If it’s not in the center then it could cause imbalance during rotation. The size of the hole has to have the same diameter as the center spinning portion in the jar.

3. Make holes on either side of the metal strips using the latches as a mark since they will be screwed into the metal strip.

4. Make a hole in the test tube holder using the latch again since it will be screwed into it.

Assembly- Fit the jar on to the blender and lock it. Screw one end of the latch to the test tube holder and the other onto the metal strip on all four sides. Place both the metal strips onto the blender and screw them in. Make sure to tighten all the screws as much as possible. To be on the safer side use the adhesive to fix the screws of the latch on the metal strip and the test tube holders. At high speeds, wear and tear is maximum, due to friction. So double check to ensure everything is completely secure.

5. DONE! Now you’re ready to spin.


Precaution and Safety Measures

1. ALWAYS wear safety glasses. Seriously you never know what could go flying and get into your eyes.

2. It would be good to keep a large board in front of you when testing the centrifuge for the first time or until you get comfortable.

3. Test the centrifuge with a dummy test tube which is NOT glass to make sure all goes well.

4. ALWAYS run the centrifuge slowly and at short intervals, and then later pick up speed.

5. ALWAYS run your centrifuge BALANCED, i.e tubes on either sides at all times.

6. Finally remember to have fun!