Balancing tubes effectively is necessary for the safe and also reliable procedure of a lab centrifuge. If tubes aren’t correctly well balanced, you danger damaging the unit or creating a safety danger. Even if there’s a tiny imbalance that doesn"t reason drastic issues, it can still negatively affect the separation process and impact the high quality of your samples.

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Balancing your centrifuge tubes isn’t challenging, however tbelow are finest practices you have to follow to make sure you acquire it ideal. We’ve debated various other elements of safely making use of a centrifuge, including inspecting tubes before usage and checking the maximum load tolerance, in a past short article, but below, we’ll emphasis specifically on the complying with tips for balancing samples correctly:

Balance by mass not volumeDon’t leave buckets outLoad tubes symmetricallyUse “dummy” tubes if neededConsider a unit with an imbalance sensor

Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail.

1. Balance by Mass Not Volume

If every one of your samples are of similar density, then both the mass and also volume of samples will complement. In this instance, it’s feasible to fill tubes based upon sight. That being shelp, it’s much better to weigh tubes to be sure.

If the thickness of some sample materials is different to that of others, mass demands to be considered and not volume. After all, the concept of balance that we’re pointing out right here hinges on mass.

Keep in mind that once it pertains to volume, manufacturers will certainly frequently specify how full a tube can be, for example, not more than two-thirds full.

2. Don’t Leave Buckets Out

If you’re using a centrifuge that has actually multiple buckets, it’s feasible you only should usage some of those for your samples. It might be tempting to ssuggest leave out empty opposing buckets. However before, this is not an excellent principle as running without buckets have the right to damages the rotor and also even result in catastrophic faiattract.

3. Load Tubes Symmetrically

Loading tubes symmetrically sounds basic in theory but for some it can be a daunting idea to grasp, specifically once you’re handling balancing multiple buckets, and also particularly those that swing on a pivot.

The most basic centrifuges to balance are those that simply have actually a rotor through no buckets and also a small number of spaces, for instance, the D1008 EZee Mini-Centrifuge which has actually area for just eight tubes.

A larger number of spaces have the right to pose worries once loading by sight. For instance, the Z207-M Compact Microcentrifuge (listed below left) holds 24 tubes and the Z216 Series High Speed Microcentrifuges (listed below right) holds 44 tubes.




If you’re loading three or even more tubes in these centrifuges by sight alone, it’s straightforward to make a mistake. Thus, it’s ideal to count spaces to make certain. If you commonly usage a similar variety of tubes, for example, 3 or a multiple of 3, then you may want to add markings to your centrifuge to make things a bit much faster.

Things likewise gain more facility once you have multiple buckets to balance. Below is an instance of a four-bucket centrifuge rotor with eight samples loaded appropriately (left) and also erroneously (right).




Here are the general rules to follow:

Opposing loads must be well balanced.Tubes need to be balanced across the rotor’s centre of rotation.For swing buckets, each bucket likewise demands to be balanced across its pivotal axis to ensure that tubes reach a horizontal place at operating rate.

Below is an example of a swing bucket rotor balanced properly.




Aside from adhering to these rules, it’s essential to consult the manufacturer"s overview as it may market specific advice about loading.

4. Use “Dummy” Tubes if Needed

Tbelow are bound to be times when the number of samples you must centrifuge doesn’t provide you through a well balanced load. In this instance, you can usage “dummy” tubes. These can be filled with water or an additional substance, however the product provided need to be of a similar density to that of the samples. That being said, tubes must still be balanced by mass, not by volume.

5. Consider a Unit With an Imbalance Sensor

Even if you think you’ve loaded your samples effectively, there is constantly the possibility of human error. This is wright here a unit that has a integrated imbalance sensor comes in handy. If it senses an imbalance, the unit will stop running automatically.



The LC-8 Centrifuge and the NU-C300 General Purpose 3 Liter Centrifuge both come via an imbalance sensor.

The NU-C300 also lets you change the tolerance level of the imbalance sensor based upon what you suppose to check out in the time of your application.

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About the author

Aimee breaks dvery own facility scientific research and also modern technology topics to help readers digest concepts and troubleshoot problems. She htoo over a decade of endure in a laboratory establishing, completing a level in Medicinal Chemistry and working as a chemist for a multinationwide cosmetics company prior to pursuing her passion for composing.