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How does a centrifuge work?

Supplier: Clean Oil Services
21 April, 2010

Clean Oil Services centrifuges are designed to create centrifugal forces within a high speed spinning rotor, which is driven by oil being delivered under pressure and ejected out through two jets, causing the rotor to spin at very high speeds.

We rely on the contaminating product having a higher density than the oil itself hence the contamination is forced, under gravity, to migrate toward the outer perimeter of the rotor where it is trapped. The return path of the oil is toward the centre of rotation, hence for the particle to return with the fluid, it would have to migrate against the gravitational forces in the rotor. This cannot happen as the particle is more dense than the oil so is forced outwards to stay at the rotor wall. Some say that the gravitational forces can reach 2000 times gravity within the rotor.

With periodic servicing the rotor is removed, cleaned and reassembled for continued service - no replacement costs and only 4 moving parts. Normal oil filters usually have given sized holes in their mesh and will only remove particles from the oil stream which will not fit through the hole and then, under heavily contaminated flows, the particles can build up and block the filter, reducing flow until the filter goes into by-pass and doesn't filter at all. Centrifuges are not limited to a pore size so consequently will remove particles to sub micron levels and can only block if the rotor is filled with contamination.

Originally designed for use on diesel engines, the oil driven centrifuge is a well a proven option which has been in service for over 40 years. Clean Oil Services have custom designed centrifugal oil filter systems to adopt to a wide range of applications other than engines including gear and hydraulic oil cleaning. The idea is to remove contamination from used oils to restore them to cleaner than new condition thus eliminating replacement elements, reducing lubricant purchases and waste disposal costs - all without shutting machines down and without costly elements.

When changing oil in a hydraulic system, normally only about 60% of the oil is drained, the rest is held up in rams, plumbing etc which is holding back contamination. So by cleaning the oil with a Clean Oil Services oil cleaning centrifuge, and activating the hydraulic circuit periodically whilst dilating, the system is cleaned to a level cleaner than can be achieved with draining the oil.

Due to the centrifugal motion, the centrifuge, working on density, will remove contamination particles to sub micron levels which allows the option to cleanse the oil in preference to change. The result is cleaning the oil to cleaner than new condition, without having any effect on the additive package and also cleaning the internals of the machine. Clean Oil Services have developed the Lubemaster range of oil cleaning equipment which utilises the centrifuge on a vacuum chamber for water removal. Being fully portable the Lubemaster Oil Filtration units allow live filtering and are available in 240 and 415, 220 and 480 volt models.

The Lubemaster Oil Filtration unit is fitted with a Gyrotary pump to handle high viscosity oils and heavy contamination. Centrifuges have been adapted to work on all oils from hydraulic to heavy gear oils. Sizes range from the small 020 with 200 grams dirt holding capacity and 3 lpm flow to the large OS600 with 6kg dirt holding capacity and 70 lpm flow. For mobile plant, just plug in the 2 breakaways and switch the unit onto dilate whilst the unit is being serviced, or for fixed plant, plug it in and dilate whilst the equipment operates.

Oil Cleaning Centrifuge

For applications on engines, Clean Oil Services can design and select from a wide range of centrifuges with capacities to fit almost any application for permanent installation. You will at least double and in most cases triple your engine oil life. As a maintenance manager you should seriously consider the use of the oil cleaning centrifuge to not only save big bucks but add longevity to your machinery, maintaining cleaner operating integrity of the oil in your compartments - it really does make economic sense and the environment loves it.