Alfa Laval - How a disc stack centrifuge works

How does a disc stack centrifuge work?

As you might know, there are various types of separation technologies available. Separation technology involving a disc stack separator (which can also be referred to as a centrifuge) is used for centrifugation in which various phases of solids and liquids are isolated from one another based on the difference in densities.

Similar to a settling tank, disc stack separators use the force of gravity to separate liquid with a specific density from other liquids and solids. Unlike a settling tank which uses retention time as the main parameter for liquids of different densities to divide into layers and solids to precipitate to the tank, centrifugal separators use mechanical force to separate liquids and solids with different densities from each other.

Using the force of gravity

In essence, a disc stack separator is a settling tank whose base is wrapped around the center line of the bowl. Rapid rotation of separator bowl means that the effect of gravity is replaced by a controllable centrifugal force, or gravitational force known as G-force, that can have an effect up to 10,000 times greater than the force of gravity.

G-force is then used to separate liquids from other liquids and solids efficiently with great accuracy and speed and in a manner that is easy to control. A disc stack within the bowl contributes to higher separation efficiency by substantially increasing the separation area in the separator bowl. This means that the separation task using a centrifugal separator not only takes place significantly faster, but results in higher quality and higher yield.

The solids that concentrate at the outer edge of the bowl are removed—either continuously, intermittently or manually, depending on the volume of solids involved in the specific application.

To increase separation efficiency, conical plates are stacked, one on top of the other, inside the bowl - to provide more separation surface area. These stacks, referred to as a bowl disc stacks, dramatically speed up the precipitation of the solids from the liquid.

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How does separation technology work?

Separation technologies are essential to a broad range of industries — from food, beverage and pharma to marine and energy through to water and waste treatment. Various technologies are used for separating liquid from liquid and solids from liquids with the aim of producing cleaner substances, valuable by-products and less volume of waste to dispose.

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