Precautions while using Centrifuge
Centrifuge rotors have tremendous kinetic energy during high speed rotation. Rotor failure, caused by mechanical stress from the high forces imparted by the motor, can occur due to manufacturing defects, routine wear and tear, or improper use and maintenance. Such a failure can be catastrophic failure, especially with larger centrifuges, and generally results in total destruction of the centrifuge. While centrifuges generally have safety shielding to contain these failures, such shielding may be inadequate, especially in older models, or the entire centrifuge unit may be propelled from its position, resulting in damage to nearby personnel and equipment. Uncontained rotor failures have shattered laboratory windows and destroyed refrigerators and cabinetry. To reduce the risk of rotor failures, centrifuge manufactures specify operating and maintenance procedures to ensure that rotors are regularly inspected and removed from service or derated (only operated at lower speeds) when they are past their expected lifetime.