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A decanter centrifuge is an industrial liquid-solid separating machine. It separates solids from one or two liquids using the high centrifugal force generated by the rotating bowl. Solid particles need to have a higher density than the liquid for a decanter centrifuge to work.
Alfa Laval decanter centrifuges – detailed information.
Decanter Centrifuge Operation
A decanter centrifuge separates fluids from solids. Continuous process industrial centrifuges can process a large volume of fluids with sludge. Centrifugal force (upwards of 3,000 g) causes differential settling and separates the fluid from small sediment (50µ).
The slurry is fed into the machine through an axial feed tube, which injects it into the conveyor. The injected slurry strikes against an accelerator in the conveyor feed zone. This action accelerates the flow outward, through the feed ports into the bowl, forming a ‘pond.’
The solids, being of higher density, displace the liquid and settle to the wall of the bowl. The solids are continuously scrolled by the conveyor, up the angled conical part (beach). The solids exit the bowl through 360° solids discharge ports located at the rear end.
The clarified liquid rises to the surface of the pond and flows over the dams located in the front bowl hub. At this point, the liquid discharges from the bowl.
Types of Decanter Centrifuges
Decanter centrifuges are available in 2 configurations, namely 2-phase and 3-phase. In other words, solid-liquid separation and solid, liquid, liquid separation.
2 Phase Decanter
The two phase-type is a solid-liquid separator. In other words, it separates the fed slurry into a solid phase and one liquid phase.
Most de-sludging duties use a two-phase design. These include industrial sludge thickening, municipal wastewater, hemp biomass separation, etc.
3 Phase Decanter aka Tricanter
A 3 phase type separates solids from 2 immiscible liquids. In other words, a 3-phase decanter centrifuge produces a solid phase and two separate liquid phases.
For example, a 3-phase configuration separates crude oil from tank bottom sludge and water. Olive oil separation from water and biomass is another example.
The following table lists some of the essential technical specifications of Alfa Laval decanter centrifuges. Of course, each manufacturer has a slightly differentiated specification. In general, high quality, decanter centrifuges have similar properties.
|Material of Construction (MOC)||316L Stainless Steel (established, high-quality brands)|
|Max. Bowl RPM||2,000 ~ 6,500|
|Bowl Diameter||6″ to 60″+|
|G-Force (Centrifugal Force)||4500 G’s Max.|
|Particle Size Separation Range||50 µm to 1/2″|
|Processing Capacity||5 GPM to over 1,500 GPM|
|Drive Power||5 HP to Over 150 HP|
|Size (Footprint)||2′ x 4′ to 8′ x 15′|
|Differential Speed||1 ~ 25 RPM|
|Gearbox Type||Planetary Gearbox; 1 kN-M to 3.5 kN-M Torque|
Decanter Centrifuge Manufacturers, Sizing and Cost
Prospective buyers should consider some crucial aspects listed below before the selection and purchase of a decanter.
Decanter centrifuges are considered capital equipment based on their expected operating life and durability. Their price depends on the manufacturer and size/capacity.
A new machine (from a quality, established manufacturer) starts from around $50K for a small capacity unit to over $1M for a large capacity machine. Accessories such as explosion-proof upgrades, control systems, pumps, etc. are optional and add to cost.
Remanufactured models range from 40% to 60% compared to new models of similar capacity.
Decanter centrifuge operating costs can be categorized as follows.
Maintenance & Service
New versus Remanufactured
Important considerations before buying a remanufactured decanter centrifuge
- Manufacturer of the original centrifuge.
- Credentials & experience of the re-manufacturer.
- Previous use.
- Wear status of the bowl and conveyor.
- Parts used in the rebuild – especially bearings.
- Balancing of major rotating components.
- Vibration check and complete testing of the centrifuge assembly per OEM specifications.
We have condensed 35 years of our centrifuge specialty into a 9 Step Guide to Selecting Your Perfect Industrial Centrifuge.
Decanter centrifuges are perfect for the separation of liquids from high amounts of solids. In real terms, they can separate over 50% (v/v) solids from liquids continuously. Decanter centrifuges can produce up to 4000 g’s of centrifugal force, which is sufficient to separate particles down to 50µ.
The following are some of the industries using our remanufactured machines.
Remanufactured Decanter Centrifuge from Dolphin
Dolphin Centrifuge has been remanufacturing Alfa Laval decanter centrifuges for over 30 years. We have a similar experience with Sharples decanter centrifuges.
Our remanufacturing process follows OEM guidelines. We strictly adhere to all the remanufactured decanter considerations listed above.
We have a stock of over 50 Decanters at our factory in Warren, MI. Our stock decanters are carefully selected based on their previous use. We stock gently used decanters from olive oil or other similar benign last use.
We avoid decanters from drilling mud or other abrasive applications.
Contact Dolphin Centrifuge for price & technical details for our remanufactured and new decanter centrifuges in stock.