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How Does A Waste Oil Centrifuge Work

Ordinarily, oil accumulates dirt and foreign particles as it passes through your equipment. The type of dirt depends on what the oil is used for. It might be soot, glass shards, metal particles, or water vapour. These particles are abrasive, so they can damage the equipment itself, leading to expensive repairs. They can also lower the quality of your finished product.

Oil itself is pricy, so if you can re-use it, that would be helpful. The usual procedure – if you’re not recycling your oil – is to drain your oil sumps. However, this leaves about 40% of the dirty oil still inside your machines. This oily residue clings to the sides of your device or gets stuck in your piping and plumbing. Then when you refill your machines with clean oil, it mingles with the dirty one and continues to damage your machine parts.

Cleaning Options

The intuitive solution would be to pass the used oil through a filter, then feed it back into your equipment. There are two problems with this. One, no matter how fine your filtration membrane is it won’t trap all foreign bodies. And two, draining and filtering the oil means you have to turn your machines off. That’s downtime which delays your production line.

Here at Interfil, we have a solution – oil centrifuges. You can combine them with filters and oil analysis systems for more thorough results, but even on their own, they do a pretty good job. Your typical oil centrifuge isn’t a standalone device. It’s a small-ish portable rotary chamber that can be attached to your oil system. Oil is fed into the centrifugal chamber, cleaned, then released back into the general oil stream, without stopping the machine. Ergo, no downtime.

Inside the cleansing chamber, the centrifuge has light but powerful rotors which spin as fast as 7,000rpm. When the oil first enters the chamber, there’s not much happening, because the rotors are too slow and the oil is too cold. But as it warms up, the oil spins at increasing speeds. Solid, denser particles are tossed to the sides of the chamber using centrifugal force.

Thinner Than A Hair

These sub-micron particles cling to the sides of the chamber, while the now clean oil is forced out of the bottom of the chamber as a high-pressure jet spray. Usually, only solid particles are extracted, but specialised rotors can toss out water particles as well. If your oil has any additives, double-check their micron size. If they’re denser than oil, those beneficial additives (like Molybdenum Disulphide) might inadvertently get ‘cleaned’ out.

To get rid of these contaminants, the centrifuge is opened up and its sides and rotors are cleaned. The centrifuge is designed to require minimal service (apart from occasional cleaning) and it doesn’t need any spare parts. It comes in different sizes to accommodate varying oil capacities, and it can be used to clean used vegetable oil, lubricant, hydraulic fluid, diesel, engine oil, and even transformer oil, lengthening their usage up to three times.

To view our selection of locally designed, patented, and manufactured oil centrifuges, call Interfil today on 02 9533 4433.


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