Monday, February 1, 2010

Megafuge, yeah baby!

Today, I finally got my first piece of serious lab equipment, a Heraeus Megafuge 1.0R thermal centrifuge. This machine is massive (about the size of your average dishwasher, but half its height) and weighs a lot.

The machine can generate close to 18,000 g and spin 4 tubes of up to 400ml or a whole bunch of well plates. Its thermal range is between 0C and 40C. The specs are way beyond what I will need, so this is awesome.

I m a bigger geek than the lady in the picture below, because she doesn't have the thermal model, and hers only does just over 6,000 g. Yawn.

The equipment was being discarded at work, because it was evaluated as "unsafe" about two years ago, but was still being used until last week. So, it still works, but I should be cautioned not to use it at maximum capacity. For the projects I have in mind, the specs of this machine are far out anyway, but I can still do most of the basic centrifuge jobs I'll have in my lab. The machine will have to be used with caution, I don't want a centrifuge explosion in my house, it shatters windows and parts flung from an exploding machine can easily fly through walls (that's what close to 18,000g will do to you).

Since the centrifuge is also thermally controlled, I can use it as an incubator as well and limit my usage of the centrifuge components to a few thousand RPM to spare the machinery.

This machine was bought new 8 years ago by our department for (probably) over 6000 euros, so saving this working (but unsafe ...) machine from the trash was definitely worth it. If I manage to break it (gently), there's still plenty of components in the machine that could be useful elsewhere.

It has taken a few months for my first equipment to appear in my garage, I'm sure it'll take much, much longer before I have a fully equipped lab. But this first step is great. Thanks, work!