Centrifuge tubes are used to contain liquids during centrifugation, which separates the sample into its components by rapidly rotating it around a fixed axis.
Most centrifuge tubes have conical bottoms, which help collect any solid or heavier parts of the sample being centrifuged. Centrifuge tubes must also be able to withstand the centrifugal pressure created during their use, and their specifications may indicate the maximum speed at which they can be safely used.
Centrifuge tubes are available in various styles, sizes, and materials
- Capacities: Range from 0.1mL to more than 100mL; the most common sizes are 15mL and 50mL (centrifuge) and 1mL and 2mL (microcentrifuge)
- Closures: Screw-on plugged or flat caps; may be attached or separate
- Markings: May have writing areas, graduations, or other markings
- Shape: Conical- or round-bottomed; if conical, choose skirted free-standing versions
- Material: Glass or plastic resin; the latter include polypropylene, polystyrene, PET, and PPCO
- Sterility: Sterile or nonsterile; may be heat- or gas-sterilized
- Packaging: Bulk or racked tubes
- Color: Choose amber or black plastics for light-sensitive samples