Balancing a Centrifuge: Top Tips

Running a centrifuge that is not balanced can pose great risks in clinics or laboratories. Not only will it cause significant damage to the device itself, an unbalanced centrifuge might also put the users at risk . In line with this, it is important that users know how to balance a clinical centrifuge before use.

Generally, tubes should be balanced by mass instead of volume. The total mass of each tube should be as close as possible especially during high rotor speeds. For example, you should not balance a sample that consists of liquid with higher or lower density than water with an equal volume of water.

Other tips to keep in mind when balancing a centrifuge include:

  • Make sure all the sample tubes are filled evenly. Check and make sure that they are all equal in terms of mass and not just in volume.
  • Add an equal weight tube opposite as a balancer. This is recommended when you are running a test with odd number samples.

Examples on How to Balance 3, 5, or 7 Tubs in a Centrifuge with 12 Positions

Not all the placements of the centrifuge need to be occupied during spinning. There will be instances when you need to run 3,5, or 7 tubes with 12 positions. Balancing can be tricky so it is crucial that you know how to balance the tubes before operating the centrifuge.

  • You can evenly space 3 tubes around the rotor (Position 1, 5 and 9 of the rotor)
  • If you want to balance 5 tubes, create 1 balance tube and place 2 sets of 3 tubes across each other
  • If you want to balance 7 tubes, create 1 balance tube and place 2 sets of 4 tubes across each other