In a lab environment, every piece of furniture and equipment must serve a specific purpose. When you’re planning out your workspace and the lab furniture that goes in it, it’s important to consider the types of benches you’ll need to meet your specific work needs.
Bench seats of high quality provide a comfortable, durable workspace. Bench options are plentiful, so how do you choose the best one for your lab? These are some of the most common types of laboratory benches. The features and benefits of each option differ, so read on to find out more!
1. Epoxy Resin
Epoxy resin is a composite of various materials formed into a solid benchtop for your lab. It provides both durability and aesthetic, and it comes in endless color options. A well-made, high-quality epoxy benchtop can last for years.
Chemicals, ultraviolet light, and shock are resistant to it. Additionally, this benchtop is antimicrobial. When buying epoxy benches, it’s crucial to find a quality supplier. Low-quality benchtops can have air bubbles trapped in the resin or other surface imperfections.
Another consideration is the material’s susceptibility to scratches and stains. Both can be removed, but these benchtops require a bit of extra maintenance to avoid aesthetic issues.
2. Phenolic Resin
Phenolic resin is quite similar to epoxy resin, and what sets it apart is the lower price point. However, its lower price reflects lower durability. These benchtops should be used for simpler, lighter lab activities.
It meets the same lab requirements as epoxy, including its seamless finish and resistance to chemicals, bacteria, and fungus. Phenolic Resin is also made of non-conductive material. If your lab often involves heavy-duty activity, consider investing in epoxy resin instead.
3. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is known for its unmatched durability, and it can stand up to the most intense impacts and heat. With proper maintenance, you can maintain a sleek, shiny surface for your work.
Unlike other materials, stainless steel is easy to maintain and replacements are almost never necessary. It can last through heavy wear and tear without getting scratched or dented. The material is also resistant to moisture, heat, and chemicals.
Its smooth surface makes it easy to sterilize. However, metal benchtops are highly inductive, however, and that may rule out this option for some labs.
4. Maple Wood
Maple wood is an attractive material for a lab bench. Its main strength lies in its durability. It’s one of the hardest woods available at a lower price point, and it scores a 1450 on the Janka hardness test.
Wood benches are affordable, smooth to the touch, and available in many styles. Unlike steel, they aren’t conductive, which is a plus for some workspaces! They’re also available at several price points, and you’re sure to find one that fits your budget.
This bench material is susceptible to burns, scratches, and dents. However, it’s still a good fit for many lab spaces, and you can get years of use out of maple wood.
5. High-Density Polyethylene Sheets
High-density polyethylene is one of the most commonly used plastics in the world, and you can find it in items including milk jugs, playground equipment, and pipes. It’s known for its strength and durability, and it’s also easy to clean.
This bench option is very cost-effective, and it’s resistant to mold and fungus. However, this material is softer than other options in this list Heat, chemical exposure, and even moisture can damage it over time. If your lab doesn’t use a lot of heat or corrosive chemicals, this could be a useful budget bench material.
6. Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) Workbench
These workbenches are designed to prevent electrostatic discharge. While static electricity can’t harm humans, it has the potential to damage electronic products, start fires, or even set off explosions.
Rather than allowing electricity to flow, this type of bench moves static electricity into the ground. This type of bench is often necessary in electronics labs. If you’re working with circuits or other electronics, this type of bench is a necessity.
7. Wilsonart Solid Surface
Wilsonart engineered surfaces are an attractive and heavy duty option for your workbenches. Solid surface benchtops are acrylic-based, and they’re resistant to moisture and bacteria. The non-porous material is also resistant to stains, making cleanup and maintenance easier.
Wilsonart is a popular brand in home decor, but the company also produces lab surfaces that are designed specifically for use in labs, which can withstand harsh chemicals, including cleaners. They’re engineered to look like many other surfaces, including quartz, marble, to name a few. The acrylic is durable, but it is repairable if any damage occurs.
8. High-Pressure Laminate
High-pressure laminate is a type of plastic laminate that is durable enough for most lab work. It’s made from many layers of paper soaked with phenolic resin. Each benchtop is fused using high pressure and heat in a process called thermosetting. The results are durable and resistant to fire and normal wear and tear.
This material is used for shelves, tabletops, and much more. You can find this material at any laboratory supplies company, and it’s an affordable and attractive option.
High-pressure laminate can be designed for lab purposes to withstand chemical exposure, fire, and more. Some laminates are also able to dissipate electrostatic discharge. Overall, this is a durable, versatile material that fits into many lab settings.
Finding The Right Bench
There are many durable, versatile lab benches available. As you shop, remember to consider the type of work done in your lab, the durability required, and of course, your budget.
Aside from our ready-made benches, LabTech Supply company also creates custom ones according to your specifications. Contact us today to learn more about our custom benches!