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Heated centrifuge buying guide

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Alex Henderson

Aston Business School graduate who has been the Managing Director of Henderson Biomedical since January 2015. Passionate about helping laboratories keep their vital equipment operational and compliant. Architecture enthusiast, fitness fanatic and dog lover!

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A heated centrifuge is not usually the first choice for most laboratory users when they are thinking about buying a new centrifuge.  This is because the majority of laboratory users will usually need either a refrigerated or non-refrigerated model. Indeed, these two types of centrifuges cover most centrifuge user requirements and as such, are most commonly found in laboratories across the UK.

However, a heated centrifuge is sometimes needed. Its applications are quite niche, but it is still an option for those carrying out very specific research or tests.

In this month’s blog, we take a closer look at the different options out there for heated centrifuges.

Heated centrifuge applications

A heated centrifuge is not usually found in clinical settings like hospitals. However, this type of centrifuge is routinely used in industry, most notably in petrochemical laboratories. Often the user will be spinning pear-shaped and conical ASTM graduated tubes to measure the content of water or solid content in crude oil, fuel oils, middle distillate fuels and biodiesel.  It can also be used for determining the trace sediments in lubricating oils. The heated centrifuge can also be used in other chemical laboratories.

It is worth remembering that all centrifuges will heat up by around 10-15°C above ambient temperature just by the very fact that the rotor is spinning round. However, for some users, this is not enough and so heat needs to be applied to the centrifuge rotor whilst it is in use.

Hettich Rotofix 46 H centrifuge

The Hettich Rotofix 46 H is ideal for use in industrial laboratories where users need to heat and spin their samples at the same time. The Rotofix 46 H can reach temperatures of up to 90°C and spin at 4,000rpm (3,095rcf). Its robust construction is designed for heavy use in an industrial environment.

Hettich centrifuges are known worldwide for their quality and reliability. They have been making centrifuges since 1904 and they are very much the market leader.

Sigma 2-16KHL centrifuge

The Sigma 2-16KHL is the smallest heated centrifuge that Sigma manufacture. This centrifuge has the same capacity as the Hettich Rotofix 46 H (4 x 100ml). However, it has the added benefit that it can also be used as a refrigerated centrifuge if required.

Sigma also makes five other models which are available as a heated option. These are as follows:

  • Sigma 3-18KHS
  • Sigma 3-30KHS
  • Sigma 4-16KHS
  • Sigma 6-16HS
  • Sigma 6-KHS

Like Hettich, Sigma is based in Germany and is known for producing high-quality centrifuges. They produce a wide range of centrifuges which can meet most user requirements.

Eppendorf 5702 RH centrifuge

Like the Hettich and Sigma centrifuges already mentioned, the Eppendorf 5702 RH has a comparable capacity of 400ml if using a swing-out configuration. This model can be heated up to temperatures of 42°C. The Eppendorf 5702 RH is also available in a refrigerated (5702 R) or non-refrigerated (5702) version. However, unlike the Sigma 2-16 KHL which combined heating and refrigeration in one device, the Eppendorf heated, refrigerated and non-refrigerated models are made as separate centrifuges in their own right.

Other heated centrifuge options

Hettich, Sigma and Eppendorf all manufacture heated centrifuges. If, for whatever reason, none of these manufacturers meet your needs, there are other suppliers of heated centrifuges out there.  For example, the Polish centrifuge brand, MPW and the British-based Centurion both offer heated centrifuges as an option.

How Henderson Biomedical can help

Henderson Biomedical have been maintaining, calibrating and selling centrifuges since 1987. We are uniquely positioned to provide you with first-class advice on which brand is best suited to your needs and requirements. We can also provide you with after-sales service and support for the life of your centrifuge.

If you require further advice, please contact us on 020 8663 4610.  Alternatively, you can email us at or use our online contact form.

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