Apparatus and process, not provided for elsewhere, for thebreaking up or subdividing of material, which material comprisesa mixture of fluids or fluent substances, into two or more componentsby utilizing a rotatable, receptacle-like member having a generallysolid wall, and commonly termed a bowl, for subjecting the materialto centrifugal force.
(1)Note. When the material is subjected to centrifugal force,the usual tendency is for the heavier component(s) (e.g., the "heavies")to move outwardly from the axis of rotation of the member and thelighter component(s) (e.g., the "lights") to move inwardlytoward the axis. When plural heavier components of more than onedensity are present in the material, the outward movement ordinarilyresults in stratification, with the most dense component formingthe layer nearest the wall, and so forth. When the heavier component,or one or more of a plurality thereof, is particulate in nature,the resulting layer, or layers, tends to be more or less solid.
(2)Note. Most frequently, the member is capable of receivingand holding the material while at rest, and thus is truly a receptacle; insome instances (e.g., a member in the form of a open-ended cylinder),however, it can receive and hold material only when in its operating(i.e., rotating) mode.
(3)Note. The use of the phrase "generally solid" todescribe the wall of the member is not intended to infer that thewall behaves as anything other than an imperforate surface insofaras the separating function is concerned; rather, the purpose ofthe qualifying word is to acknowledge that there sometimes are oneor more openings (e.g., discharge apertures) in the wall which serve anonseparating function. See also Subclass References to the CurrentClass, below.