Mixing two things together is pretty easy, right? Well, in most cases it is—the difficult part is separating the components out of a mixture. As dairy farmers of the 19th century discovered, there had to be a better way to quickly separate the cream from milk without having to wait for the cream to slowly rise to the top. This was not only time consuming, but it also risked having the entire batch of milk turn sour before the cream could be skimmed away. To solve this problem, the first and most primitive centrifuges were created. These early versions of the centrifuge were hand cranked and essentially spun a container around a central pivot point at high speeds, applying centrifugal force to the contents and causing them to separate based on density. This is called the principle of sedimentation. Thus, the denser material would end up on the bottom of the container and the lighter, less dense material would form a surface layer. In the case of milk, the much-desired and valuable cream would rise to the surface for collection.
However, as with most cutting edge technology, centrifuges quickly found use in a wide variety of vastly different applications. From laboratory use analyzing blood samples, to food production and quality control, to industrial chemical purification, and even drying clothes, centrifuges are a crucial piece of technology in the modern world. Arguably the most popular modern brand of medical-grade centrifuge, Unico centrifuges represent the pinnacle of the original design. Spinning their contents at 3400 to 4000 revolutions per minute (that is VERY fast), these multipurpose designs allow for a number of different applications from laboratory assay of blood cells to separation of cellular DNA and proteins. Due to their new-and-improved designs, many modern tabletop centrifuges also have much smaller footprints than their bulki
Unico centrifuges also feature variable speed settings for applications requiring the separation of liquids of varying densities and extremely quiet operation. They also feature automatically locking lids, digital readouts, and shock absorbing rubber feet to prevent noise and vibration from moving the unit while it is in operation. However, as with all centrifuge technology, they must be loaded evenly to avoid damage to the machine and the risk of personal harm. Also, much unlike the hand-cranked milk centrifuges of the past, one can now set a digital timer on the centrifuge, leave the room, and return 30 minutes later to a perfectly separated test tube.