Centrifuges and Microcentrifuges


Centrifuges and microcentrifuges are commonplace in laboratories. They are used to separate solutions using the centrifugal force created by the rotor moving on a fixed axis. Successful sample centrifugation depends on the density, temperature, and viscosity of the sample and solution, and the speed of the rotation.

Benchtop Centrifuges

Centrifuges are often placed on the benchtop or work surface for easy and immediate access. Options include general-purpose, clinical, compact, and special-purpose benchtop centrifuges.

These devices may be ventilated (operated without temperature controls), refrigerated, or heated. Units may be sold with or without rotors, and rotor options may also be available. The choice of rotor will determine the maximum number of samples that can be processed simultaneously and will help determine the maximum g-force or speed that can be achieved.

In fixed-angle rotors, the tubes remain the same angled position while being spun. In contrast, as the rotational speed increases, samples in swinging bucket rotors spin in a horizontal position. The type of rotor also affects where the solids “pellet” forms — on the side (fixed-angle) or the bottom (swinging-bucket) of the tube. Swinging-bucket rotors can also tolerate higher speeds, an important factor when separating biological macromolecules.


Microcentrifuges are specifically designed to accommodate tubes that hold less than 5.0mL. Although benchtop centrifuges can be fitted with rotors for microtubes, microcentrifuges usually have a smaller footprint, which makes for a less-crowded work area.

As with other benchtop centrifuges, these units can be ventilated (operated without temperature controls) or refrigerated. Most are sold with a rotor, although additional alternate rotors may be available.

Floor Model Centrifuges

Floor model centrifuges have larger capacities and can operate at higher speeds. Types of floor model centrifuges include general purpose, low-speed (RCF maximum of 7000 × g), superspeed (70,450 × g max. speed), and ultracentrifuges (g-forces up to 1,000,000 × g).

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Benchtop Centrifuges

Designed for immediate access from your benchtop. Available in ventilated, refrigerated, or heated varieties, with or without rotors.

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High Throughput and Speed

Floor Model Centrifuges

Stand-alone centrifuge models can operate at faster speeds and come in larger capacities.

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Compact for a Smaller Footprint


Ideal for small sample sizes less than 5.0mL and have ventilation or refrigeration capabilities.

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