Regardless of the environment, lab benches, lab tables, and phenolic table tops take a lot of physical abuse. From harsh chemicals to liquids, heat, commercial cleaners, and abrasions—lab countertops made of phenolic resins interact with a lot of various components throughout any given day.
Companies and institutions of all types invest a lot of money in creating efficient laboratories, and they want them to last as long as possible. But how do you know when it’s time to replace your epoxy resin countertops?
Below, we will examine 12 of the most common signs to look for that may indicate when your lab tables and epoxy resin countertops should be replaced.
12 Signs You Should Replace Your Lab Benches
It is critical for labs of any size and specialty to keep up with equipment inspections and replacements. Outdated or mistake-prone equipment can be dangerous and reduce science lab productivity, which is why equipment maintenance is critical.
Keep an eye out for these signs that it’s time to upgrade your laboratory equipment in your own laboratory.
First and foremost, if the safety of laboratory workers is jeopardized or has the potential to lead to safety hazards and life-threatening situations, it is time to renovate your laboratory. Labs that haven’t been upgraded in a few years face a number of uncontrollable safety risks, such as asbestos exposure and other health risks.
For example, make sure the size of your fume hoods is appropriate for your ventilation needs. If the phenolic resin equipment in science lab work units is out of date, it may be too small to effectively minimize exposure to harsh chemicals, gas, and fire hazards.
If any part of your lab area does not meet the revised safety standards, a renovation, as well as emergency egress, should be completed as soon as possible.
Employee safety is of top importance in any lab. Health and safety regulations are constantly changing, so make sure you adhere to them at all times. If there is an issue with the safety of your laboratory equipment, it should be addressed as soon as possible.
Wear and Tear
Visible wear and tear or even instrument damage is the most obvious indication that your equipment needs to be updated. When you’ve had a piece of equipment for a while and used it on a daily basis, it will begin to show signs of wear and tear.
Normal wear and tear, such as minor scuffs, should not be a problem. Warping, cracks, rust, or burns in the material, on the other hand, indicate that the lab equipment has been or will soon be damaged.
The material you used and the type of work you do in your lab determine the level of wear and tear on your epoxy resin countertops. Even the highest-quality products will eventually show signs of wear and tear, and while some of these signs are simply unsightly, others indicate a safety issue.
Excessive Staining and Scratching
Abrasive material scratches dull the surface and may have an effect on the smooth, pore-free surface. This can affect the resistance of these worksurfaces to chemicals, moisture, bacteria, and fungus.
Harder metals, abrasives, and heavy or sharp objects can scratch the surface. Scratches are rough to the touch and typically appear as a lighter shade of the work surface. When testing reveals that the surface has been compromised, replacement is required, which is not uncommon.
When chemicals dry on a work surface, they stain. Chemical stains typically lighten or bleach the surface, however, they can also roughen and crack it. Chemical stains and scratches are permanent, and if the epoxy resin countertop has sustained too much damage, it may need to be replaced to improve chemical resistance.
Most metals are softer than epoxy work surfaces and will leave a scuff if dragged across them. The material left on the surface by an object that appears as a line and is smooth to the touch is referred to as marring.
Marring on epoxy resin lab countertops can almost always be removed with acetone or a mild cleaning product and elbow grease. Begin with the softest cloth and the weakest solution (soap and water), and work your way up as necessary.
If the marring persists, moisten a pad with a more robust solution. However, never use an abrasive pad dry, and always begin with the lightest pressure possible.
Productivity is essential in the laboratory, as it is in any other workplace. Efficiency can be built into the original design by strategically placing phenolic resin equipment, accessories, and storage.
While it may not be as obvious as visible wear and tear on an instrument, noticing a drop in productivity around the lab can be a clear indication that something is wrong. Your equipment is one of the first places to look for this snag in the workflow.
Even if you don’t notice it, phenolic resin equipment damage can result in slower processing times, which leads to delayed results and workflow.
In almost any chemical-resistant laboratory, obtaining consistent, accurate results is critical. Even minor variations in results can derail an experiment or test. If your chemical-resistant equipment isn’t producing accurate results, it’s time to upgrade.
Depending on the type of chemical-resistant lab equipment, some noise is to be expected. Excessive or unusual noise, on the other hand, indicates a problem with your epoxy resin lab tables that must be addressed.
If your lab furniture is becoming noisier, or if you hear unusual noises coming from it, it could be a sign that something has been damaged or is simply worn out.
Another sign that you should upgrade your epoxy resin lab furniture is if it needs to be recalibrated on a regular basis. A laboratory’s constant need for recalibration can cost a significant amount of money over time—in addition to being time-consuming which causes downtime.
Inaccuracies in digital tools and equipment may develop as they age. Recalibration of digital equipment is required to correct inaccuracies and return tools to factory settings.
If you or other lab technicians notice that there is a need for recalibrating the equipment more frequently, this could indicate that it needs to be repaired or replaced.
The test or experiment results may be inaccurate if a piece of equipment is not recalibrated. Upgrading your laboratory equipment is the most cost-effective way to save time and improve procedure accuracy.
Increased Energy Bills
Modern phenolic resin equipment is frequently more efficient than older, obsolete models. If your laboratory’s energy bills are spiraling out of control, it may be time to invest in more energy-efficient equipment.
While new equipment may be expensive at first, stocking your lab with high-efficiency devices and machinery will save you money in the long run.
One of the most telling signs that your laboratory needs to be renovated is significant temperature fluctuations. Because of the various types of processes and experimental procedures it is frequently subjected to, laboratory equipment is frequently highly sensitive to temperature variations.
Furthermore, frequent temperature changes can harm the various types of lab devices. As a result, maintaining a constant temperature in the laboratory space throughout the working day is critical.
If temperature changes frequently occur in your laboratory or other items, you may want to consider getting your laboratory newer heating and cooling systems.
Another sign that your science lab needs a major renovation is if any of the science laboratory furniture is rusting. A large amount of storage space for chemicals and equipment is required in a laboratory.
Items may begin to rust with the passage of time and the extensive use of the numerous laboratories and equipment. It will be difficult to store chemicals properly if your shelves and cabinets are in poor condition and rusted.
Compromises in storage units may also result in low chemical resistance and gas leaks, limiting productivity while also posing a significant health and safety risk. You don’t have to replace all of the shelves, which is good news.
In almost every industry, time is money, especially in environments as time-sensitive as a laboratory. As a result, your company cannot afford to waste time calibrating and recalibrating for obsolete phenolic resin equipment.
Although periodic calibration is a natural and required part of laboratory equipment maintenance, repeated calibration reduces productivity and phenolic resin equipment performance significantly. Furthermore, the need to re-test samples due to out-of-date phenolic resin equipment will put a strain on your finances over time.
Furthermore, frequent calibrations may have an impact on the overall outcome of the experiment, resulting in erratic results. If you discover that your laboratory equipment is in poor condition or that it requires regular calibration, it may be worthwhile to consider investing in upgraded lab furniture, which will result in more efficient work results.
Because laboratory equipment is designed to provide consistent operation for each cycle and process, it is critical to monitor the performance of your equipment to determine whether it is beginning to fail.
If your science lab technicians constantly complain about inconsistencies in lab results or problems with cycle runs, you may need to retire your equipment and replace it with something new.
LabTech Supply Company is Your Trusted Lab Equipment Partner
Today’s lab countertops, phenolic table top, and high-quality lab equipment must be able to withstand the test of time and last your laboratory as long as possible. If they can’t, they could potentially interfere with your lab employee’s work, slowing production and increasing inefficiency.
As a result, it’s critical that you take the necessary steps when it’s time to replace the lab bench or lab countertops when they are showing signs of needing replacement.
Are you looking for a company you can trust with new phenolic resin lab equipment for your laboratory?
At LabTech Supply Company, we remain dedicated to helping our customers find innovative solutions to keep their laboratories current with modern technology. We’re proud to be a recognized leader in lab benches, furniture, workstations, and storage equipment—making us your one-stop-shop for all things related to epoxy resin lab tables and phenolic resin lab countertops.
Discover more about our extensive inventory of laboratory equipment and learn how we can assist you in improving the work environment in your laboratory. Contact our team at LabTech Supply Company today!