Will It Centrifuge? (part 3 - the Club Edition.)

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Introduction: Will It Centrifuge? (part 3 - the Club Edition.)

About: The answer is lasers, now, what was the question? If you need help, feel free to contact me. Find me on Reddit, Tumblr and Twitter as @KitemanX
It had to happen.

My science clubbers got wind of the centrifuge's existence, and demanded to have a go with their own samples. Some of them made their own mixtures, just to see if they could be separated by sheer force of gravity.

The samples got spun up in batches of four:

Batch 1:
  • Hair gel mixed with pure blackcurrant juice (yellow tube)
  • Mud, water, pencil shavings and washing up liquid (blue tube)
  • Brown sauce (it's a British condiment) (orange tube)
  • Salad cream (light pink tube)

Batch 2:
  • Flour mixed with green food colouring, washing up liquid, water and rice mixed with blue food colouring. (green tube)
  • Strawberry jam (with bits) (dark pink tube)
  • Flour, water and green food colouring (orange tube)
  • Raspberry jam (no bits) (light pink tube)

Batch 3:
  • "American hot dog mustard" (yellow tube)
  • Melted Margarine (blue tube) (melted by floating tube in hot water for a couple of minutes)
  • Crunchy peanut butter (orange tube)
  • Rice, water and blue food colouring (green tube)

I've posted each sample as "before" and "after", to make the changes (where they occur) more obvious.

The shot of the inside of the centrifuge shows a thin beige line - the clubber who filled the peanut butter tube didn't clean the outside of the tube properly, and slowing from 13,000rpm to stationary in a few centimetres mashed the debris evenly around the centrifuge's innards. Fortunately it wiped off easily.

Watch out for the margarine...

Need some backgound?
Part One
Part Two - Blood!
Original Forum Thread

And a "How To" Instructable is in the pipeline, I'm just waiting for some information.

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    52 Comments

    I do like all the effort you put into this but maybe some more info (Like comment in the Photos) to clear thinks up would greatly improve the concept and avoid confusion. It is hard to tell which is which in some cases. Cool tho.

    Wow! This machine is cool! I really love the experiments you are doing! I was just wondering where can you get it? And how much will it cost in Canadian money? I wonder what happens if you put Non-Newtonian Fluid (Oobleck) in the microfuge? I want you to try it, you don't have to, but I wish you did. Thanks,

    1 reply

    I got it for free, donated to the school through a government scheme, but you could try here.

    As you showed in p1 you're trying to run a 13k rpm centrifuge with a 12w (12v 1A) power supply. I bet its doing < 2 krpm. Give it more AMPS.

    2 replies

    It's the power supply recommended by the manufacturer.

    ok , just a suggestion. No harm will come of trying a bigger psu at the same voltage. Good writeup.

    ew i wouldn't try urine... but maybe is you try fatty yogurt or maybe some mayonaise

    You have to do a tiny martini in this. That's an order.

    I have never seen an instructable like this before! Anyways it is GREAT!!!

    1 reply

    Thank you, I try my best.

    How much would one of them fancy "centrifuges" cost and were can I receive one?

    5 replies

    Most lab centrifuges cost upwards of 150GBP. The one I have is a "Millennium Product" - for some reason, the university-based team that came up with them sent lots to schools for free. They can also be purchased for around 80GBP+taxes - follow the links I gave in the text to find the details.

    How about American dollars? I want to see if I have enough.

    My dad got one for me a few years ago from the hospital he works at. They got new ones and were just going to throw the old ones out! Testing random stuff in it can be surprisingly entertaining. Blood is the most interesting thing we ever put in it. My diabetic friend came over and he used his finger pricker thing to get some of his. After an hour the top 60-80% was a yellow/clear (plasma), the bottom was a deep red (blood cells), and the very tip was black/gray(platelets and other stuff).

    these are wonderful macro pictures!...and what are the layers in the margerine? and what are the size of the centerfuge "capsules"?