High Speed Separator Basics

High Speed Separator


Basic Separation Theory


Basic Separation Theory

The density differences between the two (2) phases are the main driver of how the phases separate. The lighter-density material will want to move to the top of the container. The denser material will want to settle on the bottom. Below is Stokes’ Law — a formula for determining the rate of sedimentation. 

Vg = d² (Pₚ – P₁) / 18η x G

Vg = Gravitational Settling Velocity (m/s)
d = Particle Diameter (m)
Pₚ = Particle Density (kg/m)³
P₁ = Liquid Density (kg/m)³
G = Gravitational Acceleration (kg/ms)
η = viscosity of the liquid (m/s)²

The settling velocity is based on the differences in density between the two phases, the size of the particles, and the viscosity of the liquid at a given gravitational acceleration. Separation efficiency can be increased or decreased based on the solids particle size, the differences in density of the two phases, or the viscosity of the liquid. 


Stokes’ Law — a formula for determining the rate of sedimentation


Disc Stack Separator Technology


Disc Stack Separator Technology

In the rapidly spinning centrifuge bowl of a high speed separator, the force of gravity is replaced by centrifugal force (g-force), which can be thousands of times greater than gravity. The centrifugal force inside the high speed centrifuge bowl can achieve in a few seconds, which takes many hours in a settling tank under the influence of gravity. To increase separation efficiency, bowl discs (conical plates) are stacked, one on top of the other, inside the centrifuge bowl. The stack of bowl discs (disc stack) provides more separation surface area. Due to the high g-force, even finer particles can settle out in a very short time. 

Alfa-Laval-MAB103-disc-stack-high-speed-separatorThe disc stack is the heart of a high speed separator. A disc stack separator will dramatically speed up the separation efficiency by increasing the settling surface area! The bowl disc stacks dramatically speed up liquid-liquid separation, solid-liquid separation, and liquid-liquid-solid separation. A disc stack separator will separate solids and one or two liquid phases from each other in a continuous process. 

The collected concentrated solids phase formed by the contaminated particles can be removed manually, intermittently, or continuously, depending on the high speed separator type and the amount of solids involved in the specific application.

Using mechanical separation technology increases performance and reduces costs.


Benefits of High Speed Separators

    • Enhanced Productivity – By efficiently removing solid particles from liquids, high speed centrifuges improve the overall productivity of your operations. Cleaner end products contribute to smoother downstream processes, reducing equipment downtime and increasing output.
    • Improved Quality and Purity – The superior separation capabilities of high speed separators result in products of exceptional quality and purity. By removing contaminants and unwanted particles, high speed separators help you maintain high standards and meet stringent industry regulations.
    • Cost Savings – With increased separation efficiency and reduced waste, high speed separators offer significant cost savings. By optimizing the separation process, you can minimize material loss, decrease maintenance expenses, and enhance overall operational efficiency.
    • Environmental Sustainability – We recognize the importance of sustainable practices in today’s world. Our centrifugal separators contribute to environmental sustainability by facilitating efficient waste management and reducing the environmental impact of industrial processes.

Working Principle of High Speed Disc Stack Separator 



Separation Duties of High Speed Separator

The main difference between a clarifier and a purifier separator is that a purifier separates one liquid from another liquid while separating the solids simultaneously. A clarifier centrifuge separates the liquid from the solids. 


A clarifier is a high speed separator designed for liquid-solid separation. A clarifier removes solids such as soot, ash, sludge, particles, sediments, natural organic matter, and color from process liquids. Clarifiers are widely used in various applications within food, beverage, marine, power generation, oilfield, marine, and industrial fermentation industries. In the beverage industry, clarifiers are used to process fruit juices, wine, tea, and coffee. In the marine sector, clarifiers are used for cleaning scrubber water. For commercial and industrial generator sets, engine mounted centrifuges are designed to clean lubricating oil.


A purifier is a high speed separator designed for liquid-liquid-solid separation. A purifier separates two (2) liquids of different densities and solids, such as water, oil, and fines, from each other. Purifiers are widely used in multiple applications across industries, such as food and beverage, marine, power generation, oilfield, and energy. In the food industry, purifiers are typically used in edible oil processing and fats, such as fish oil, lard, vegetable oils, and tallow. In the marine and power generation sector, purifiers are used for the cleaning of engine fuel oils, engine lube oils, and hydraulic oils.


A concentrator is a high speed separator designed to separate three different phases, one solid phase and two liquid phases of different densities, and clean the densest/heaviest liquid phase. Concentrators are widely used in various industries, such as food, beverage processing, and marine applications. In vegetable oil and animal fat refining industries, concentrators are used for processes of continuous degumming, neutralization, dewaxing, and washing. In beverage processing, concentrators are used in deoiling and oil recovery applications, such as citrus juice deoiling and cold-pressed peel oil concentration and polishing. In the marine industry, concentrators are used to clean bilge water.


Top tips to keep your high speed separator in tip-top condition

    • Make correct quality of water and air is supplied to the machine as recommended in the manual.
    • Use only approved brands of oil for lubrication and check the oil condition regularly.
    • Make sure that the separator is operating in accordance with recommended design parameters.
    • Constantly monitor vibration levels and bearing temperatures. Check regularly for leaks and any abnormal noise.
    • Keep the service area clean; never place parts directly on the floor.
    • Stick to the recommended service intervals and the instructions for preventive maintenance.
    • Always clean parts thoroughly before reassembling them.
    • Use Separator Spares & Equipment supplied tools for service and maintenance—store tools in a clean, secure, and dry location.
    • Use Separator Spares & Equipment centrifuge spare parts to achieve guaranteed performance, reliability, and equipment life.
    • Maintain a stock of crucial spare parts such as oil, intermediate, and major service kits. Follow storage instructions to avoid damage and corrosion.


Need your high speed separator serviced? Separator Spares & Equipment offers a full range of services for Alfa Laval high speed centrifuges, GEA Westfalia high speed centrifuges, and MKK Mitsubishi high speed centrifuges.

Need high speed centrifuge spare parts? Separator Spares & Equipment specializes in aftermarket and genuine spare parts for Alfa Laval separators, GEA Westfalia separators, Mitsubishi separators, and IOW Group separators.


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