Centrifuge: What are the Different Parts?

A centrifuge is a piece of machinery that uses centrifugal force to separate heavier particles from lighter particles.

In 1920, Svedberg developed the first analytical ultra-centrifuge. Biological centrifugation is a method of using centrifugal forces to separate and purify a mixture of biological particles in a liquid medium. It’s an important technique for analyzing cells, supramolecular complexes, subcellular fractions, and isolated macromolecules such as nucleic acids and proteins.

Parts of Centrifuge

The features of a typical  clinical centrifuges includes:


Control Panel


The control panel located on the front casing is used to control centrifuge operation.


An electric motor is a component of the centrifuge that aids in driving.




The entire system is contained in a chamber. The centrifuge head houses the shields or cups that cover the rotor and rotate on a spindle. The rotors are surrounded by a safety shield in the chamber.


The motor devices that house the tubes containing the samples are known as rotors in centrifuges. Centrifuge rotors have designs intended to produce rotational speed that allows components in a sample to separate.

Fixed angle rotors and swinging bucket rotors are the common types of rotors used in centrifuges.

  • Fixed angle rotors. In these rotors, tubes are typically held at 14-40 degree angles to the vertical. Particles travel a short distance in a radial direction. Reorientation of the tube during rotor acceleration and deceleration. Useful for differential centrifugation.

  • Swinging bucket rotors. These rotors allow for density gradient-centrifugation for better separation. It is easier to remove supernatant without disturbing the pellets.


In the event of tube breakage or other problems while the centrifuge is operating, the latch keeps the lid closed. All such units should be replaced or modified to include a latch.

A cover to contain the samples in the chamber of the centrifuge. It is a safety feature to protect the users during the operation of the centrifuge.

Bio Safety Lids


Buy centrifuges with bio safety lids for the buckets or rotors whenever possible. It is important especially if the users are handling bio hazardous materials.