A type of centrifuge with a series of conical discs that provide a parallel configuration of centrifugation spaces is the disc stack centrifuge, also referred to as a disc bowl centrifuge or disc stack separator.

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Using a very strong centrifugal force, the disc stack centrifuge is used to separate two liquid phases or to remove solids (typically impurities) from liquids. Less dense fluids flow toward the center, while denser solids or liquids that are subject to these forces travel outward and toward the rotating bowl wall. The unique discs, also referred to as disc stacks, accelerate the separation process by increasing the surface settling area. Depending on the type of feed that is present, different disc designs, arrangements, and shapes are used for different processes. The concentrated denser solid or liquid is then periodically, or continuously, removed by hand, depending on how the disc stack centrifuge is made. For the purpose of clarifying liquids with a low proportion of suspended solids, this disc stack centrifuge is ideal.

The operation of a disc stack centrifuge

As you may already be aware, there are numerous kinds of separation technologies out there. Centrifugation, a separation technique where different phases of solids and liquids are isolated from one another based on the difference in densities, uses a disc stack separator, also known as a centrifuge.

Disc stack separators work similarly to settling tanks in that they use gravity to separate liquids of a particular density from other liquids and solids. Centrifugal separators use mechanical force to separate liquids and solids with different densities from one another, as opposed to settling tanks that use retention time as the primary parameter to allow liquids of different densities to split into layers and solids to precipitate into the tank.

Making use of gravity

A disc stack separator is essentially a settling tank with its base wrapped around the bowl’s center line. When the separator bowl rotates quickly, the gravitational force known as G-force—a controllable centrifugal force that can be up to 10,000 times stronger than gravity—replaces the effect of gravity.

Subsequently, G-force is employed to effectively and rapidly separate liquids from other liquids and solids in an easy-to-control manner. By significantly expanding the separation area in the separator bowl, a disc stack inside the bowl helps to increase separation efficiency. This indicates that employing a centrifugal separator for separation produces higher quality and yields results much faster than with other methods.

Depending on the volume of solids involved in the particular application, the solids that concentrate at the outer edge of the bowl are removed manually, intermittently, or continuously.

Conical plates are piled inside the bowl, one on top of the other, to create more surface area for separation and improve separation efficiency. The solids precipitate from the liquid much more quickly thanks to these stacks, also called bowl disc stacks.

How it functions

Many different industries depend on separation technologies, including food, beverage, pharmaceutical, marine, energy, water and waste treatment, and more. Liquid from liquid and solid from liquid are separated using a variety of technologies in an effort to produce cleaner materials, valuable byproducts, and less waste to dispose of.

Using extremely high centrifugal forces, the disc stack centrifuge separates solids and one or two liquid phases from each other in a single continuous process. Under such conditions, the less dense liquid phases form concentric inner layers and the denser solids are driven outward against the rotating bowl wall. The interface position is the location where these two distinct liquid phases converge. This is easily adjustable so that the separation occurs as efficiently as possible.

The disc stack adds more surface area for settling, which helps to significantly accelerate the separation process. The disc stack centrifuge’s ability to continuously separate a variety of different solids from one or two liquids is attributed to the specific arrangement, form, and design of these plates.

The amount of solids involved in the particular application and the type of centrifuge used will determine how the concentrated solids phase formed by the particles is removed—manually, intermittently, or continuously.