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Breaking Crystals During Discharge: Types of Centrifuges Explained (2024)

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During discharge breaking of crystals is possible in which centrifugeDiscover the wonders of centrifuges – machines that can break up crystals during discharge. Whether it’s a tubular bowl, chamber bowl, imperforate basket, or disc stack separator – we have you covered! In this article, we’ll look at the various types of centrifuges available and how they work.

We’ll also explore how the market for these devices has evolved over time, with companies such as Alfa Laval and GEA Westfalia leading the way in innovation. Finally, we’ll explore any limitations associated with using a centrifuge when breaking crystals during discharge.

Key Takeaways

Centrifuges can be used to separate particles based on size or density. Market leaders in centrifuges are Alfa Laval, GEA Westfalia, Andritz, Contec Decanter, and China. Andritz offers three-phase decanter centrifuges, disc/chamber bowl separators, and fixed/moving bed separators.

Contec Decanter is a reliable solution for separation/filtration with no significant design changes in 60 years.

What is a Centrifuge?

What is a Centrifuge
You’ve probably heard of a centrifuge before, but did you know it was invented by Gustaf de Laval in 1878? A centrifuge is used to separate particles or substances from liquid solutions. It works by spinning the solution at high speeds, causing crystals and heavier solids to form along the walls of its container.

There are several types of centrifuges, such as tubular bowl, chamber bowl, imperforate basket, disc stack separator, or decanter models, depending on the type of separation process being done. The various models have different mechanisms for releasing solid material, like fixed bed systems and moving bed systems that use cone screens.

Peeler and pusher centrifuges can also be used for crystal formation, with no significant design changes since their introduction over 60 years ago.

Companies like Alfa Laval, GEA Westfalia, Andritz, Contec, Decanter China all produce these machines, making them accessible around the world today. Centrifuges are an invaluable tool when it comes to separating particles from liquids quickly, efficiently, and reliably, without breaking delicate crystals during discharge.

What Are the Types of Centrifuges?

What Are the Types of Centrifuges
You may be familiar with a centrifuge, an invention by Gustaf de Laval in 1878. It is used to separate solids from liquids, and there are several different types of centrifuges available, including the tubular bowl, chamber bowl, imperforate basket, disc stack separator, and decanter, which all operate differently during discharge breaking of crystals.

Tubular Bowl

Looking for an efficient way to separate solids from liquids? The tubular bowl centrifuge is your go-to! This type of centrifuge uses a cylindrical and conical geometry with a rotor that spins at high speeds, enabling the crystallization process.

Particle size and shape can be optimized by controlling operating parameters like speed, temperature, and density. Bowl geometry also plays an important role in separating different sizes of particles efficiently.

Compared to decanters or hydrocyclones, which rely on gravity alone to separate materials, the tubular bowl has greater capabilities due to its filter medium, which ensures smaller particle size separation than before.

Chamber Bowl

Experience the power of a chamber bowl centrifuge that can separate and clarify solids from liquids! This device uses centrifugal force to quickly spin out crystallization while controlling the bed movement.

With its disc speed, it is able to effectively discharge material for further processing. Different types are available, such as Westfalia, Disc Stack, and Knife Pusher models made by companies like Alfa Laval or GEA Westfalia Andritz Contec Decanter, which offer better control over both solid separation and clarity of liquid streams.

The chamber bowl design has been around for 60 years, with no significant changes in design, but it continues to be an effective tool used in many industries today.

Imperforate Basket

Try out an imperforate basket centrifuge to take your separation process up a notch! This type of centrifuge is designed with wedge wire bars, allowing for variable particle size distribution and manual discharge.

Its solids release mechanism can be either fixed bed or moving bed, depending on the application requirements. It hasn’t seen significant changes in over 60 years, but disc centrifuges are being developed as an alternative for more efficient cream separators.

Disc Stack Separator

You’ll be amazed at the power of a Disc Stack Separator, which whirls solid materials with incredible centrifugal force. Its bowl design allows for efficient separation even at high speeds and feed rates; crystal size is no challenge due to its integrated filtration system.

The decanter drum ensures sedimentation occurs quickly and smoothly, controlling the discharge speed effectively. This separator offers an excellent rate of separation compared to others, without compromising accuracy or quality.

It’s easy to maintain and operate over time, without needing significant modifications or upgrades.


You can utilize a decanter centrifuge to effectively separate solids from liquids. This type of centrifuge is ideal for dewatering and crystallization applications involving immiscible liquids, as it relies on cone screen technology and adjustable bed types to achieve separation efficiency at varying pressure fluctuations.

Crystal size is also controlled with the help of this device, facilitating effective breaking of crystals during discharge. Market leaders such as GEA Westfalia offer various models that are suitable for different industrial requirements; these can handle both fine solid particles and larger ones without any difficulty, depending on customer preferences regarding speed/torque ratio or other factors like power consumption, etc.

How Does a Centrifuge Work?

How Does a Centrifuge Work
Feel the power of a centrifuge as it spins at high speed, separating solids from liquids. Centrifuges use driving force to separate particles based on their size and density. This is done by spinning materials around a horizontal axis in either a tubular bowl or chamber-type separator, with an imperforate basket that uses gravity and cone screen for finer solids release.

  • Peeler Centrifuge: Removes liquid from slurry by forming cake layers between rotating discs – ideal for removing thick liquid components such as oil droplets or starch suspension
  • Pusher Centrifuge: Utilizes pressure differential across cones to remove fine particulate matter like silica sand – operated using Sharples P1000 variable frequency drive (VFD)

Centrifugal forces act upon each particle, causing them to travel away from the center until they reach their designated layer of separation based on size, density, and viscosity differences within the medium being processed.

Limitations include an inability to handle fine solids, but technology advancements have pushed these boundaries significantly over time, allowing operations like decanting solid residue directly out of baskets without any significant design changes seen over the last 60 years in market leaders such as Alfa Laval, GEA Westfalia, Andritz, Contec, Decanter China, etc.

How Has the Centrifuge Market Evolved?

How Has the Centrifuge Market Evolved
You may be familiar with the centrifuge market, which has seen major changes over the years. Major players in this market include Alfa Laval, GEA Westfalia, Andritz, Contec Decanter, and China; all of whom have made significant contributions since its introduction by Gustaf de Laval in 1878.

During discharge, breaking is possible in a centrifuge, offering further advantages for use in industry.

Alfa Laval

Explore the world of centrifuges with Alfa Laval, a pioneering 60-year-old manufacturer that provides top-of-the-line tubular bowl, chamber bowl, imperforate basket, and disc stack separator models. Their high-speed separators allow for crystal shape modification via pressure drop control and feed rate manipulation, while friction loss is minimized in their filtration zone using perforated plate technology.

Discharge rates are maximized through the use of moving-bed mechanisms, which prevent clogging or crystallization.

GEA Westfalia

Discover how GEA Westfalia’s centrifuges revolutionized the market by providing more efficient and advanced solids release mechanisms. It developed a unique bowl geometry to increase crystal size, maximize discharge rate, and control speed with its adjustable baffle ring design.

This was combined with Danish separation systems for superior performance in all separation processes. The Contec Decanter from Shanghai Chemical Machinery Plant is also equipped with such technology, providing improved results compared to traditional designs.

GEA Westfalia’s innovations have helped shape the modern centrifuge industry, offering powerful, reliable machines with greater precision than ever before.


You can trust Andritz to provide you with the highest quality centrifuges on the market. Their three-phase decanter centrifuge is designed for optimal crystal separation and discharge breaking, making it ideal for fuel ethanol production or other applications requiring dry solids.

It’s equipped with a screw conveyor that ensures reliable product recovery even when operating at high speeds. They also offer disc and chamber bowl separators from Hutchison Hayes, as well as fixed bed and moving bed separators which provide superior performance in difficult applications like sugar refining or clay flattening processes.

Finally, their imperforate basket range offers efficient performance across a wide variety of industries, including dairy processing plants and starch factories.

Contec Decanter

Contec Decanter centrifuges have been a staple of the market for over 60 years, with no significant design changes to their disc centrifuge. This makes them ideal for crystallization applications such as dewatering and stream separation.

Product recovery is improved thanks to their unique angle of repose, while molasses processing is made easier with synthetic flocculants used in conjunction with the SG2-700 decanter. Pressurized designs are also available, offering greater efficiency in flow rates and product recovery.

With its long history, Contec Decanter offers reliable solutions for any application requiring a dependable separator or filtration device that can quickly deliver results without compromising quality or safety standards.


In China, centrifuge development has remained largely stagnant for over 60 years, with little to no significant design changes. The most common type of centrifuge used in ethanol recovery and sludge dewatering is the tubular bowl or chamber bowl, which uses a fixed bed mechanism to break crystals during discharge.

Other types, such as impeller basket and disc stack separators, are also popular; however, they lack the efficiency of traditional models like peeler and pusher centrifuges. According to Filtration & Separation magazine’s recent filtration industry analyst report, Chinese manufacturers haven’t made any major advancements in their designs, despite demand from local markets increasing steadily since 2019.

This stagnation could be due to limited resources resulting from poor funding, but it’s unclear how this will affect future developments within the Chinese centrifuge market moving forward.

Are There Limitations to Centrifuges?

Are There Limitations to Centrifuges
Although centrifuges are generally reliable, they do have limitations when it comes to handling fine solids. For example, crystallization can be difficult and the efficient gas tightness of a centrifuge is not always guaranteed due to the fragility of organic liquids.

Peeler and pusher centrifuges are often used during discharge breaking of crystals, but this process has been largely unchanged for over sixty years with no significant design changes. This means there could be more potential uses for these devices if further development was done by companies such as Alfal Laval or GEA Westfalia, who specialize in manufacturing disc decanters and other types of filtration equipment.

To get the most out of a centrifuge, understanding its limitations is key, so proper maintenance can take place when needed while still achieving maximum efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can a centrifuge be used to break crystals during discharge?

A centrifuge can be used to break crystals during discharge with its spinning motion, providing liberation, mastery, and control for an audience looking to find these attributes. Its tubular bowl design allows a methodical approach so that fine particles are separated out for further processing while larger solids remain intact.

What is the difference between a peeler centrifuge and a pusher centrifuge?

Peeler centrifuges use a rotating blade to separate solids from liquids, while pushers utilize an auger-like mechanism. Both are designed for breaking crystals during discharge, but peelers can handle larger particles more efficiently than pushers.

What is the purpose of a solids release mechanism in a centrifuge?

The solids release mechanism in a centrifuge serves to safely and efficiently separate solid particles from liquid. It works by spinning the mixture at high speed, allowing gravity to pull out the heavier solids while keeping lighter liquids suspended.

Different types of mechanisms have varying levels of efficiency depending on the type of material being processed.

What advances have been made in centrifuge technology in the past 60 years?

In the past 60 years, centrifuge technology has seen advances in fixed-bed, moving-bed, and cone-screen solids-release mechanisms. Peeler and pusher designs have been modernized to better handle fine solids. Market leaders Alfa Laval, GEA Westfalia, Andritz, and Contec Decanter have further developed disc centrifuges with no major design changes.

How does a disc centrifuge differ from other types of centrifuges?

A disc centrifuge is distinct from other types of centrifuges due to its design. It has a circular bowl with discs stacked inside, allowing for more efficient separation than the fixed-bed or moving-bed designs.

Furthermore, it offers greater control over solids release and the ability to handle larger particles without clogging, making it ideal for breaking crystals during discharge operations.


Summing up, centrifuges have been around for over 60 years and are an integral part of multiple industries. They’ve stayed the same in terms of design, but their application has grown significantly. There are various types, each with its own features and limitations. For instance, the decanter centrifuge is great for breaking crystals during discharge, while the disc centrifuge is better for finer solids.

Alfa Laval, GEA Westfalia, Andritz, Contec Decanter, and Chinese manufacturers have all contributed to the centrifuge market, making it more efficient and productive. Despite its advantages, centrifuges have their limits, so it’s important to understand them before making any purchase decisions.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is an author and software engineer from the United States, I and a group of experts made this blog with the aim of answering all the unanswered questions to help as many people as possible.