Oil centrifuges are devices designed predominantly for the filtration and separation of contaminants suspended in oils. Some such centrifuges may be used in instances where oil is the contaminant, but more often industries rely on these devices to clarify industrial, edible and hydraulic oils that may carry undesirable solid, gaseous or liquid materials as a result of extraction or continued processing. This clarification is achieved by the application of the sedimentation principle.
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Purpose of Oil Centrifuge
Suspensions are rotated at speeds as high as fifty thousand revolutions per minute in order to generate a significant amount of centrifugal force to make the oil centrifuge product work. This rotational pull causes denser particles and molecules to separate out in a radial direction based on mass. Both the solids and the newly purified oil can then be removed.
Advantages of Oil Centrifuges
The use of oil centrifuges provides many benefits such as increased equipment and product efficiency and longevity, reduced maintenance, smoother operation and reduced hazardous waste. While other techniques such as filtration, settling and decanting can achieve similar results, these centrifuges improve both speed and effectiveness of purifying and washing oils. Metallurgy, oil drilling, mining, marine, construction, power generation, transportation, railway, automotive, wastewater treatment, food and beverage, chemical, recycling and manufacturing industries utilize oil centrifuges to remove damaging contaminants from such variable products as motor oil and olive oil.
Design of Oil Centrifuges
To accommodate variable industrial, commercial and even domestic needs, oil centrifuges may be small enough to fit inline in a vehicle engine or large industrial centrifuges capable of processing thousands of gallons of oil per hour. Despite such variation, the general design and function of these devices is quite similar across the industrial spectrum.
A casing made of durable materials such as cast aluminum or steel houses all major components of the centrifuge. A cylindrical rotor runs through the interior of the similarly shaped hollow cavity and is connected to a fixed central axis. When in operation, a motor generates force along the axis perpendicular to this. When a slurry or suspension is introduced, denser particles are pulled out and collected in a cake along the wall of the casing while the oil remains in the center. The oil is removed through hoses as is the cake, though in some applications manual extract is required once rotation ceases. Proper sizing is essential for optimal oil cleansing as is a consideration for the flow rates in a given industry. Suitable oil centrifuges that are properly installed can reduce machine wear more than 50% and improve oil life more than 45% in a typical application.