once upon a time, @anon16547145 warned us about the problem…
but when pressed for more detail, didn’t have anything he could share.
…other than it was from our silenced @spdking.
I had one of the fuges in my whirled go WOOF! today, and I figured it was worth mentioning.
I haven’t finished dissected it yet, as I’m on my way out of town today, but it’s pretty clear from the video and the aftermath what when down.
I expect to find that the shaft seal failed, followed by the lubricant being washed from the bearings, then achieving greater than 365C (auto-ignition temp for ethanol) in the bearings.
at the moment I don’t have much more I can share, other than operator freely admits “yeah, it was getting hard to spin by hand…”
…I rotated it by hand, and there are clearly chunks where there should be bearings. probably chunkier that when the operator started it, but he also admitted it was making more noise that usual too.
this happened near the end of final spin out, and was probably THE most gentle way this thing could have said “Fuck you buddy! I’ve been trying to tell you there was a problem with the bearings for weeks…”
I would guess this could only have happened at spin out, because the ethanol would have provided some lubrication or at least cooling until it was spun off. because these particular centrifuges were insulated, our solvent temps are in the -20C range, and there wasn’t a whole lot of O2 left after it went WOOF, there wasn’t much in the way of fire. The bags burned for about 15 sec after the initial flashover, and then it self extinguished. At room temp it would have been an entirely different experience.
PLEASE maintain your centrifuges!!
Listen for new noises. rattles need to be chased down, they mean something new is loose. check the belt guards for signs of crude. because that means they’re leaking. probably through the bearings. if you’re getting crude in your belt guard (through your bearings) you don’t have any lube in your bearings, and are just awaiting catastrophic failure.