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(computer science)
A datum or character that denotes the beginning or ending of a unit of data.
A porous insulating sheet used between the plates of a storage battery.
A circuit that separates one type of signal from another by clipping, differentiating, or integrating action.
A machine for separating materials of different specific gravity by means of water or air.
Any machine for separating materials, as the magnetic separator.
(mechanical engineering)
(petroleum engineering)
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(1) An apparatus for the mechanical separation of mixtures of solids or liquids, the removal of impurities from liquids and solids, and the removal of solid or liquid particles from a gas. The principle governing the operation of various types of separators is based on the differences in the physical properties of the components of the mixture. These properties include shape, mass, particle density, coefficient of friction, and magnetic and electrical properties. In order to separate emulsions and clarify liquids, separators that use centrifugal forces are favored. Gas separators and cyclone separators are used for the mechanical purification of gases and the removal of solid and liquid particles from gases. Milling separators, utilizing sieves, air streams, and magnets, are used in separating impurities from grain. Separators are used in the mining industry for concentrating ores, especially low-grade ores and coals with a high ash content. In the chemical industry, they are used for the separation and purification of various mixtures. Separators also find use in the casting of metals, where they serve to prepare and purify mold and core mixtures. In gas technology, separators are used for the removal of moisture from gas and gas-condensate wells, and in the food-processing industry, they are used for obtaining cream and cottage cheese, purifying milk, clarifying beer and wine, and obtaining starch and yeast. Magnetic, oil, and cream separators are the most common in industry.

Magnetic separators are used to separate minerals from gangue and harmful impurities. In this type of separator, use is made of the effect of a magnetic field on mineral particles having different magnetic susceptibilities. The concentration of low-grade iron ores (mainly, magnetite), as well as of manganese, titanium, and tungsten ores, is carried out with magnetic separators. In this process, the content of the desired components in the magnetic concentrate can be raised to 95 percent and higher, and the content of harmful impurities can be substantially reduced. Various magnetic separators exist for the concentration of strongly magnetic and weakly magnetic materials, for example, drum magnetic separators with a closed electromagnetic system and stationary magnets (for magnetic ores and suspensions) and roller, rotary, and multigradient drum-groove separators (for weakly magnetic ores). Powerful magnetic separators have capacities of up to 500 tons per hour for coarse ores and up to 200 tons per hour for finely ground ores.

Oil separators remove water and mechanical impurities from oil by centrifugation. Separators of this type are also used for the purification of lubricating and cooling liquids in the oil-maintenance systems of electric power stations and substations and industrial plants. The capacity of oil separators can reach 1,500–2,000 liters per hour (l/hr).

Cream separators are used in the purification and separation of milk into cream and skim milk. The main part in a cream separator is a bowl, which rotates with a frequency of 6,000 to 12,000 rpm. A system of conical disks, which separate the milk into layers, is installed inside the bowl; holes in the disks form vertical channels, from which the milk flows into the gaps between the disks. Here, under the effect of centrifugal forces, the cream is separated. Cream separators have capacities of up to 25,000 l/hr and can produce both ordinary cream (30–45 percent fat) and rich cream (more than 80 percent fat). Cream separators designed for only the purification of milk (clarifiers) have capacities of up to 40,000 l/hr.

There are also separators for the dehydration of proteic substance (cottage cheese) and for the removal of bacteria from milk (antibacterial centrifugation). Separators of this type can remove approximately 90 percent of the bacteria. When two separators are arranged in series, up to 99 percent can be removed.

(2) A metal or plastic casing with slits fitted to hold balls or rollers in roller-contact bearings. Separators are used to separate and direct the motion of the balls or rollers and are usually made from a steel band by stamping. However, when high circumferential speeds (more than 10–15 m/sec) or large bearings are involved, separators are made from such antifriction materials as bronze, brass, resin-impregnated fabric laminate, and aluminum alloys.

(3) An insulating lining made of glass wool, wood, polyvinyl chloride, or paronite in the form of shaped, perforated, or porous sheets.


Karmazin. V. V., V. I. Karmazin, and V. A. Binkevich. Magnitnaia regeneratsiia i separatsiia pri obogashchenii rud i uglei. [Moscow] 1968.
Lipatov, N. N. Separirovanie v molochnoi promyshlennosti. Moscow, 1971.
Beizel’man, R. D., B. V. Tsypkin, and L. Ia. Perel’. Podshipniki kacheniia: Spravochnik, 5th ed. Moscow, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A device to trap, remove, or separate deleterious, hazardous, or undesirable matter (such as oil, grease, gasoline, sand, and sediment) from normal waste conveyed through it, permitting normal sewage or liquid wastes to discharge into the disposal terminal by gravity.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.