Understanding the Right Centrifuge Tube for Different Applications

Centrifuge tubes play an important role in science today. The demand for this type of structure is increasing. So if you’re working in the science field, knowing about centrifuge tubes may be crucial for your success.

There are also variations of centrifuge tubes available today. Deciding which centrifuge tube is best will depend on the type of compounds you’ll be using. So to determine which tube fits your needs, you need to understand the different types available on the market and their uses.

We’re here to help. Here is a guide on the different types of centrifuge tubes. Read on!

Different Materials Used in Centrifuge Tubes

Centrifuge tubes are an important and indispensable fundamental tool in laboratories. And they can compose of different types of materials for different purposes.

Borosilicate Glass

Borosilicate glass is one of the most common materials used for centrifuge tubes. It can withstand extreme temperatures, is very resistant to chemical attack, and is very hard and flexible.

The material is also non-porous, so it won’t absorb chemicals or odors when used in a centrifuge. Not to mention that it has excellent optical clarity, meaning that the experiments performed in the tubes can be observed.

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)

PTFE is a unique material because it provides physical, mechanical, and chemical characteristics. This material is very resistant to temperatures and is chemically inert. This makes it useful in many laboratory settings.

The materials are also chemically stable and have low surface energy. It provides excellent thermal insulation, which allows for precise control of the environment. It also does not need greasing, and you can seal it with a minimum of hardware.

Conventional or Low Binding Glass

Conventional glass can resist high temperatures better due to its strengthened surface-to-tube adhesion. These tubes are often coated. This helps increase viscous flow and improve the performance of centrifugation as well as make them easier to work with.

Low-binding glass provides a non-binding interior surface. This feature helps to ensure that no proteins or other substances will escape from the glass to contaminate the samples. Not only does this material help to maintain sample integrity during centrifugation, but it is also a great cost-saving element.


Polypropylene offers several advantages over other materials like glass. This includes excellent chemical resistance, autoclavability, and improved strength. These enable smaller tube sizes and higher g-forces.

The material has a wide range of applications in medicine, science, and research. It is very corrosion-resistant, making it ideal for use in spinning samples for extended periods.


Polycarbonate is a synthetic thermoplastic that is made from bisphenol-A and phosgene. This makes it durable and resistant to cracking, denting, and breaking.

It is also heat resistant, shatterproof, and has a high tolerance for chemicals. So it is suitable for a variety of scientific and industrial applications.

They are common in laboratories due to their ability to spin liquids at speeds that separate substances by their densities. These tubes are ideal for centrifuging biological samples. And they have become a widely-used piece of laboratory equipment.

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) can withstand higher centrifugation speeds, durability, excellent impact, and chemical resistance. It has excellent clarity and low protein absorption. And it also has a wide range of operating temperatures and cost-effectiveness.

These attributes make PET an ideal choice for biological applications. It is great for molecular biology, biochemistry, and clinical chemistry. It is also fitting for various research studies processing varying types of biological fluids.


Pyrex is used when conducting experiments in extreme temperatures. This is because the material maintains the sample’s temperature and is resistant to corrosion, acid, and alkali.

It is a high-grade glass material that is very durable, making it resistant to cracking and breaking. Pyrex materials are also transparent, so the samples can be easily observed and monitored from the outside. They are also very easy to clean and autoclave sterilized, giving them a long lifespan.


Steatite is particularly well-suited for processing low-viscosity liquids. It comes from a type of ceramic material that is highly porous and has a neutral pH level. So it is harmless and non-corrosive for sensitive biological samples.

Steatite also has excellent strength but is lightweight, making it easy to handle and transport. Additionally, these tubes are very durable and feature the highest level of transparency.

Different Sizes of Centrifuge Tubes and Their Applications

Centrifuge tubes come in a wide variety of sizes. These different sizes offer different advantages and applications.

Microcentrifuge Tubes

Microcentrifuge tubes come in a variety of sizes, ranging from 0.5 milliliters to 2 milliliters. They are used for rapid processing of small volumes of liquid, separation of mixtures, or spiking of samples with reagents.

Microcentrifuge tubes from https://chromtech.com/centrifuge-filter-tubes/ can also help in cell separation.

Ultracentrifuge Tubes

Ultracentrifuge tubes are usually between 15 ml to fifty-five ml. They differ from regular centrifuge tubes due to their thick walls, specialized screw cap, and silicone seal.

Their thick walls make them ideal for spinning solutions at higher rotational speeds. Their specialized screw-caps and silicone seal also create a vacuum-tight seal. This helps increase the accuracy of experiments by minimizing sample loss.

Ultracentrifuge tubes are always present in experiments. These experiments involve large protein analysis and large-scale purification. They can also involve both isopycnic and equilibrium density gradient ultracentrifugation.

Conical Tubes

A conical-shaped tube is for sample collection and processing techniques. Its structure allows for greater sample recovery and better sedimentation.

These tubes are great for separating components with different densities and sizes. The conical shape helps to prevent liquid shearing, which can cause inaccurate results.

Conical tubes also increase sample accuracy and are generally used for sample centrifugation. This includes DNA extraction, cell separation, and plasma protein analysis.

Choose the Right Centrifuge Tube for Your Needs

Centrifuge tubes are essential tools for a variety of laboratories. And each type of centrifuge tube has unique features that make it ideal for a specific purpose.

Whether you need isolation, concentration, or a combination of both, you can find the perfect tube for the job. Try one out today and find out how this laboratory equipment can help you in your research!

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