16.9 Centrifuges16.9 Centrifuges
Some general safety guidelines to follow when using centrifuges:
- Be familiar with the operating procedures written by the manufacturer. Keep the operating manual near the unit for easy reference. If necessary contact the manufacturer to replace lost manuals.
- Handle, load, clean, and inspect rotors as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Pay careful attention to instructions on balancing samples -- tolerances for balancing are often very restricted. Check the condition of tubes and bottles. Make sure you have secured the lid to the rotor and the rotor to the centrifuge.
- Maintain a logbook of rotor use for each rotor, recording the speed and length of time for each use.
- To avoid catastrophic rotor failure, many types of rotors must be "de-rated" (limited to a maximum rotation speed that is less than the maximum rotation speed specified for the rotor when it is new) after a specified amount of use, and eventually taken out of service and discarded.
- Use only the types of rotors that are specifically approved for use in a given centrifuge unit.
- Maintain the centrifuge in good condition. Broken door latches and other problems should be repaired before using the centrifuge.
16.9.1 Centrifuge Rotor Care16.9.1 Centrifuge Rotor Care
Basic centrifuge rotor care includes:
- Keep the rotor clean and dry, to prevent corrosion.
- Remove adapters after use and inspect for corrosion.
- Store the rotor upside down, in a warm, dry place to prevent condensation in the tubes.
- Read and follow the recommendations in the manual regarding:
- Regular cleaning
- Routine inspection
- Regular polishing
- Lubricating O-rings
- Decontaminating the rotor after use with radioactive or biological materials
- Remove any rotor from use that has been dropped or shows any sign of defect, and report it to a manufacturer’s representative for inspection.
There is a description of an accident that occurred at Cornell and how to prevent centrifuge accidents on the Centrifuge Accident webpage.