There are many hazardous materials and substances that are used within chemistry labs. Without realizing it, these hazardous chemicals can have a seriously detrimental effect on the lifespan and quality of a tabletop. From excessive exposure to these substances, these tabletops may wither and become difficult to use.
Having a high-quality science lab table is essential in maintaining the productivity and workflow of laboratory space. Choosing what kind of tabletop your lab may need can be tricky and difficult.
In this guide, we will be having a close look at the two types of tabletop materials that are often found within chemistry labs, their strengths and weaknesses, as well as which may be better for your chosen space.
The Importance of a Good Countertop in a Chemistry Lab
A good countertop is essential in any chemistry lab. Due to the high-risk nature of these labs, the substances and materials that are frequently used can often pose dangerous side effects to the furniture that surrounds it. In some cases, the equipment used to process, analyze, and experiment on these materials may also cause damage to the surrounding furniture.
Having a good tabletop that is resistant to the various factors within a chemistry lab is an innovative means of saving money and time. When a tabletop becomes damaged, it can often be difficult to work on these surfaces. In a chemistry lab, this is a serious downside as the experiments and delicate tasks that are performed usually require a steady hand and a stable table.
Benefits of the Right Tabletop for a Workspace
With the right tabletop installed in a chemistry lab, the lab can see a range of benefits. These benefits may include the following:
- Easier and more efficient workflow
- Accuracy and precision with tasks
- Lowered expenditure due to damages
- Less time spent on repairs and maintenance
- The positive flow of productivity within the working environment
These are all critical factors to consider when looking at a chemistry lab because they assist in ensuring that work is handled promptly and effectively. Accidents can occur at any time within a chemistry lab, and having a high-quality tabletop ensures that the safety of the users is maintained.
The Two Leading Tabletop Types in Chemistry Labs
Although there are many different tabletop types to choose from, there are two main materials that are used within chemistry labs. That being Epoxy Resin and Phenolic Resin. These two material types have their own strengths and weaknesses.
In order to make a good decision on which to incorporate into your lab, it is essential that the pros and cons are weighed against one another before the decision is made. Let’s closely analyze the two and determine which one may be the better choice for your lab space.
Epoxy resin is one of the more popular choices for tabletops in chemistry labs. There is a good reason behind this. Epoxy resin has been able to sufficiently maintain the industry standard for years.
This material is exceptionally heavy and tough, with a phenomenal heat resistance factor. This means that in labs where a continuous heat of around 350 Degrees Fahrenheit is common, we will generally opt for this material.
What is Epoxy Resin Made From?
This material is well-designed and created from a mix of silica, epoxy resin, and hardeners. Because of this process, epoxy resin has a high level of various important strengths needed for chemistry lab tabletops, such as compressive, tensile, and flexural strengths.
These factors are what make epoxy resin a fantastic choice for any chemistry lab. The main downside to this material is that it is often more expensive than other material types.
Phenolic resin shares a lot of structural similarities with epoxy resin. Just as before, this tabletop type is designed to be exceptionally strong and resistant to hazardous chemicals. The difference with this tabletop type is that it is often cheaper than epoxy resin and provides the designer with greater design flexibility. Phenolic resin is often used in spaces that showcase a high rate of dirt, hazardous chemicals, and dust buildup because of the ease of cleaning that it provides. Phenolic resin has great resistance against bacteria and moisture buildup which also makes it a great choice for food laboratories.
Phenolic resin comes in a wider range of colors as opposed to epoxy resin and is easier to manufacture and install. The downside to this material is that it does not share the same heat resistance that epoxy resin has. Because of this, phenolic resin is best suited for spaces that do not showcase high constant heat levels or equipment that would cause this.
What is Phenolic Resin Made From?
Phenolic resin is comprised of formaldehyde and phenol which is fused together with kraft papers that have been saturated by synthetic polymer. This fusion is done through the use of pressure and heat to create a strong and solid surface that is chemically resistant and durable.
Which One Should You Choose?
The decision between these two materials should be solely around the function, preferences around user experience, and need that is present within the chemistry lab space. If the lab showcases great use of high-heat equipment, epoxy resin is a reliable choice that is well-suited for these environments.
If these conditions are not present within a lab, phenolic resin is the better choice due to its design flexibility and cheaper manufacturing process. Whichever choice is made, it is essential to partner with a trusted laboratory supplier that understands how to meet the many different needs within your chemistry lab.
Getting Your Custom-Made Chemistry Lab Table From A Trusted Partner
It can often be daunting to go about the design process for new furniture that is durable and reliable. LabTech Supply specializes in assisting laboratories with their custom-made furniture needs. Having a workstation that is versatile, durable, and sturdy is essential in bettering the working conditions of the lab whilst also boosting the productivity that it outputs.
Get in touch with LabTech and start designing furniture that truly helps your chemistry lab reach its true potential.