How Does a Centrifuge Work

Decanter centrifuge is a very important and necessary industrial equipment. Therefore, it is very important and necessary to understand how the centrifuge works.

One of the commonly used industrial machines for separating solids from the liquid is a decanter centrifuge through the high-speed rotation. It has main components such as bowl and screw conveyor.

Centrifugal Force

As you can see from your house washing machine, it uses centrifugal force to dewater the clothes effectively. Also, you can feel a bit unbalanced when you are driving and taking turns. It is also due to centrifugal force.

Centrifugal force causes an object to move in a circular or curved path to move away from the center of this circle or arc path.


Imaging you can a pond filled with muddy sand and water, the sand will eventually accumulated at the bottom of the pond in time. This is due to sand is heavier than water and by the force of the gravity there will finally be two distinct layers in this pond: water layer in the top and sand layer in the bottom.

Decanting Using Centrifugal Force

To accelerate the decanter time, centrifugal force has brought in to generate as high as 4000 times of the gravity force, Thus reducing the separation time from hours to seconds.

Decanter Centrifuge Design

Decanter centrifuge has both horizontal and vertical types, in this article we only discuss the most used one: horizontal decanter centrifuge.

As shown below, the main components of a centrifuge is:

When in operation, the feed is put into the main chamber of the bowl to achieve separation in the following steps:

Additionally, three phase, liquid /liquid/solid separation can be achieved, this is implemented by letting the light liquid phase to be overflowed from the heavier liquid phase. Moreover solid/solid/liquid separation can also be achieved for the decanter centrifuge.

Through this complete basic guide that introduces the working principle of a decanter centrifuge, I believe you have a very good idea of how the centrifuge works.

Yes, the decanter centrifuge uses the centrifugal force generated by the high-speed rotation, and then realizes the pollution-free sedimentation and separation according to the weight difference between different solid and liquid substances.

The decanter centrifuge of ZK Separation is also developed using this principle. It can not only realize the two-phase separation of solid and liquid, but also realize the liquid/liquid/solid three-phase separation.