Hettich Centrifuge FAQ

Do you have any questions about your Hettich centrifuge? Take a look at our FAQ or contact us!

Centrifugation is a process that separates particles of different density from a liquid by means of centrifugal force.

Centrifuges use the centrifugal force acting on the components of a mixture during circular motion to accelerate the separation process. To separate the components of the mixture, there needs to be a sufficient difference in the density of the components. 

Laboratory centrifuges are designed for laboratory use and are used in many fields such as chemistry, physics, pharmaceutics or medicine. 

The speed of a centrifuge provides information about the number of revolutions of the centrifuge rotor per unit of time. This is also referred to as the frequency of rotation. The maximum speed of the rotor is often indicated as a characteristic value for the separation performance of a centrifuge. However, the speed alone does not provide any evidence of the force acting on the centrifuged material and causing the separation of the mixture, but must always be considered in combination with the radius of the circular motion. 

The RCF value as relative acceleration is a criterion for evaluating the separation performance of a centrifuge or rotor.

For practical applications, it is important to know that doubling the rotor radius of a centrifuge leads to doubling of the relative centrifugal force. That said, doubling the speed leads to quadrupling of the force.

You can use our converters to determine the relative centrifugal force (RCF) or calculate the revolutions per minute (RPM).

Centrifugal force is an inertial force. This force acting on the rotating body always points in the opposite direction to the centripetal force. The value of the centrifugal force corresponds to the value of the centripetal force.

To find the right centrifuge for you, you need the following information: 


  • Sample volume and test tube type (ideally the test tube brand)
  • Test tube size 
  • Number of test tubes per centrifugation run
  • RCF/RPM required 
  • The need for temperature control (cooling or heating)  
  • Rotor type
  • The need for a cap to prevent biocontamination.

We would be happy to help you configure your centrifuge. Give us a call, or try our product configurator. 

Our Download Center has the latest versions of the operating instructions for all our devices. Please do not hesitate to contact us directly if you ever need an older version.

The Medical Device mark (MDR) is a hallmark for medical devices as defined by EU regulation 2017/745. 
Certain Hettich products (such as the EBA 200, ROTO SILENTA 630 RS and ROTIXA 500 RS floorstanding centrifuges) are labeled as medical devices because they are used to prepare blood components for patients. In vitro diagnostics are IVDR certified products according to EU regulation 2017/746.

Please get in touch with your sales partner if you need certificates. 

Certification of the device as an MDR or IVDR device is always necessary if your laboratory application is predominantly medical, clinical, or diagnostic. No certification is necessary and "General Lab Product" is sufficient if the device is used exclusively for research purposes. 

Depending on the test kit, microliter centrifuges and centrifuges that can centrifuge plates are used when preparing samples for polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Less commonly, centrifuges that centrifuge Falcon test tubes at high speed can also be used. When selecting a centrifuge, make sure you achieve the required RCF: this varies depending on the kit. 

These requirements are met with the MIKRO 200 | 200 R or MIKRO 220 | 220 R, for example. Alternatively, the UNIVERSAL 320 | 320 R or ROTANTA 460 | 460 R can be used as models in the benchtop centrifuge category.

Special note: the ROTANTA 460 R achieves an RCF of 6.446 with the rotor (part no.: 5622) for high plates (DWP and sandwich plates up to 9 cm high).

Swing-out rotors offer high capacity compared to angle rotors, allow the test tubes to fill completely, and allow sediment to collect at the bottom of the tube. 

Please discuss this matter with your sales partner, as we need information about the condition of your accessories. 

Angle rotors are always used when rapid sedimentation and high speed are required. 
The low air resistance and the angle of the rotor mean that angle rotors are ideal for applications requiring higher RCF values in order, for example, to obtain cell components for further investigations. 

Biocontainment in accordance with DIN 61010-2-020 is necessary if aerosols inside a sealed bottle are not allowed to discharge into the ambient air or into the interior of the centrifuge.

Sealing certificates are available directly from us for all biocontainment rotors. The seal is tested and certified by an external authorized inspection body (TÜV in Germany, for example) in accordance with the laboratory equipment standard EN 61010-2-020.