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5 tube balancing argument

Thu Oct 10 15:52:49 EST 1996

Well, I took it upon myself to call the centrifuge experts, Beckman. 
Their response:

In a small, benchtop rotor, this balancing situation is OK considering
that most small centrifuges have a high margin of...hmmm...tolerance for
off balance situations.  What you're spinning is small, doesn't weigh a
lot, and is less prone to the forces of our lovely planet earth. 
Technically, it is in balance according to vector forces pulling on a
single point (see prior posting by Dima), but not balanced in a proper
sense.  Once all the forces have achieved a steady state, all is

HOWEVER.  In an ultra centrifuge, where you routinely approach speeds in
excess of 80,000 rpm (as in CsCl grad's), it is imperetive that you fill
all slots with equal weights.  In ultra, where the rotor tolerance is
5/10,000 of an inch in the eliptical orbit, equal vector forces prove
not to be so equal unless they are 100% equal.  In otherwords, when you
go fast, the rules can't be bent as easily; you have to optimize your

I hope this solves this!  

Lou Cantolupo
GenVec, Inc.
Dept. Molecular Virology
Rockville, MD  20852

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