How a Spinner Works

Many technicians will have seen oil centrifuges on engines, but it’s important to understand how a spinner works. The Mann and Hummel centrifuge oil cleaner is self-powered, using engine oil pressure to spin the separation chamber (rotor) up to 8500 rpm. Centrifugal force separates contaminants from the oil and flings them to the side of the rotor where they form a solid cake.

How a Spinner Works

Cleaned oil exits the chamber via twin diagonally opposed jets which provide the energy for rotation. Clean oil then returns to the sump through the level control base which maintains the correct oil flow and pressure for efficient operation.

The truck and bus model centrifuge processes around 7.5 to 8 lpm per hour while extracting abrasive particles to fractions of 1 micron. At service time the disposable rotor can be disposed of in a common rubbish bin and a new one installed without getting a drop of used oil on your hands.

A very important safety factor is that the centrifuge has a cut off valve that prevents it working when oil pressure falls below 23 psi. So if the oil pump gets weak or fails the centrifuge cannot contribute to the destruction of the engine. This factor assists in the confidence and support for the centrifuge of around 65 original engine manufacturers worldwide.

Why it works

Up to 98 per cent of the fine solids in lube oil are 10 microns or less. That’s way too small to be captured by the media in full flow filters which are typically designed to stop particles no smaller than 20 microns. The centrifuge, on the other hand, removes particles large and small down to an incredibly miniscule 0.1 of one micron.

In contrast to full flow filters which eventually begin to plug from contaminants, the disposable rotor model 996 centrifuge has the capacity to capture up to 900 cubic centimetres of solid contaminants at which time the rotor is simply removed and a new one installed. The manufacturer claims the removal of such fine particles can lead to a reduction in engine wear of up to 50 per cent.

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Author: Paul Matthei

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