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Everything you need to know about centrifuge torque

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When it comes to decanter centrifuges, it's important to know their torque is this measurement helps operators determine how fast the machine is running.

Centrifuge torque (or differential speeds) is an important aspect of centrifugal separation, as it determines the amount of solid material that will be spun off.

Decanter centrifuges are useful pieces of equipment when looking to separate solids and liquids. It's important, though, that the right amount of liquid be added in order for it to work properly- too much can cause an overflow while not enough will make everything clump together or lead to some parts being left behind unreachable.

In other words: many variables come into play when running decanter centrifuges. The type of feed material affects how well stirring works as do any ambient conditions like temperature changes over time.

Continuous control allows operators to adjust these factors accordingly, which ensures consistent optimal running conditions are achieved at all times including bowl speed, differential speeds (for faster spinning), and pool depths if applicable.

What is the best way to control the movement of solids in centrifuges?

Using a variable speed drive (VSD) is the best way to control a solid's transport in decanter centrifuges while varying the torque (or differential speed).  A VSD allows for continuous torque optimization and can also be used to change bowl speed with varying g-forces. 

Why is it important to monitor torque?

By monitoring the centrifuge torque between a bowl and conveyor, and automatically varying their speed differential, it is possible to maintain optimal performance of the centrifuge while also maintaining consistent cake dryness.

Variable speed control will protect the machine against over-torque by helping keep the machine's feeder steady on its track with minimal vibration.

What is the best way to measure torque?

The most common method for measuring torque in a decanter centrifuge is to use a dynamometer. For this, the shaft of the rotor can be fixed in one position and then measured with respect to the distance traveled while spinning.

The first step when measuring centrifuge torque is attaching an accelerometer on top of or next to each impeller blade so that it measures their speed as they spin past at high speeds.  The use of an accelerometer enables operators to measure how many revolutions per minute (RPM) the machine operates at; by calculating RPMs from measurements taken over time using proprietary software like Vision View™.

How are Torque Settings calculated?

A centrifuge's "max torque-out setting" may be calculated by using the following formula.


Max torque-out setting = ( (MaxG / 12) / GearBoxR ) / (L / 12)


  • MaxG is the max gearbox torque (in/lbs)
  • GearBoxR is the gearbox ratio
  • L is the radius length of torque arm (in inches - Not OAL)

The Vision Machine Torque Settings calculator

Too much math? No problem, we've got you covered. We've got great calculators for you!

Use our Torque Settings Calculator to calculate the max torque settings for your centrifuge.

centrifuge torque calculations

About Vision Machine

Vision Machine Inc. specializes in the manufacturing and repair of horizontal decanter centrifuges and has been doing so since 2004. We offer centrifuge manufacturing, custom centrifuge manufacturing, centrifuge repair, centrifuge replacement parts, and centrifuge controls from leading manufacturers.

From centrifuges that remove high-value solids from liquids, refining processes, or waste minimization, Vison Machine Inc. has a separation system to Vision Machine works with a variety of industries within the oil and gas sector, as well as other industries that require the use of centrifugesmeet your needs. 

Vision Machine works with a variety of industries within the oil and gas sector, as well as other industries including refining/petrochemical, dairy, municipal, rendering, food & beverage, dredging, and fracking.  

At Vision Machine, Inc., we pride ourselves on providing our customers with the highest value, the lowest total cost of ownership and easiest to operate separation systems available. All proudly made in America at our Spring, TX facility.