When selecting laboratory storage and containment solutions, it is important to choose products that can handle the weight of equipment being used. Manufacturers create furniture with various types of load weight capacity, making it necessary for consumers to understand the differences.
A structural load is a force applied either to the component of the storage structure or to the structure as a whole. When designing lab furniture, RDM Industrial Products considers all stress factors involved, including, load magnitude, distribution, frequency of occurrence and dynamic or static nature. A load can cause a structure to be stressed, displaced, or even deformed. Overloading may eventually result in structural failure.
Static loads are those that gradually build up over time or have negligible dynamic effects, which are the effects that torques have on motion. It is much easier to do a structural analysis for a static than a dynamic load. In most cases, equipment manufacturers will publish the statically-equivalent load weight capacity for static loads.
One industrial furniture manufacturer that approaches things a bit differently is RDM Industrial Products, Inc. The load capacity figure calculated by this company is based on a live load, which is a load that displays significant dynamic effects. It includes all the variable forces that occur within the normal operation cycle of an object. As an example, with a table and large equipment, this would involve the actual weight of operating equipment, along with any movements that may be produced by the equipment or outside forces that could be applied to the pair. This pressure is variable based on the size of the equipment, frequency of use, and other loads that may be applied, like someone or something leaning onto the table edge.
Publishing a load weight capacity figure that accounts for live loads includes more than just the weight of the component placed on or in a structure. It also considers the forces that vary throughout the operation cycle of the component. When purchasing laboratory furniture designed for use with heavy equipment, consumers should look for live load capacity figures. The common static load ratings that other manufacturers list for their products will look larger, but are in fact inflated, since they are not factoring in many other common forces that could be applied to a table of workstation. At RDM industrial products, their load ratings are factored using live load calculations. Be sure to understand when a lesser, exaggerated static load rating is being presented. It will save you a world of grief.