Working with corrosive chemicals presents various hazards. The last thing you should have to worry about is your table reacting if there is a spill. You have work to do and don’t need to focus on your worktables being damaged by otherwise insignificant accidents.
We’ve often been asked:
Are RDM science lab tables and workbenches safe for use with chemicals?”
The short answer is Yes.
However, you’ll want to choose the right tabletop material for the best resistance.
Polyurethane Painted Metal
Polyurethane coating is suitable for use in labs and industrial settings due to its excellent chemical resistance. As a highly versatile material, the chemical resistance of polyurethane largely depends on its formulation and application. RDM’s polyurethane painted metal tables are formulated to withstand short-term chemical splashes.
We suggest cleaning and drying the spot as quickly as possible. Failing to wipe away any chemical can wear down the polyurethane and lead to lasting damage. Essentially, you shouldn’t have to worry about catastrophic reactions. However, it’s important to note, long-term exposure can wear down the polyurethane, leaving the underlying material exposed. All things considered, it’s definitely a suitable material for most labs. Just as long as you are sure the table can be quickly cleaned and dried if spills do occur.
For comparison, polyurethane painted metal is as resistant as a powder coating. Those with extensive lab experience will understand how reliable this is. You can expect minimal to no reaction to most acids and corrosives. Those that do produce a reaction are small and easily manageable. As long as you can clean the table quickly we suggest this type of table for your lab.
Phenolic resin is one of the most chemically-resistant materials available. It’s often used in a variety of labs and industrial applications. It’s also commonly used in public bathrooms for durable and resistant partitions. This is made by applying phenolic resin to multiple layers of material and then pressing them into the desired shape. In this case, crafting a lab table for your needs.
Solid phenolic is a highly resistant material ideal for use with chemicals and heat. While we still suggest cleaning and drying the area quickly to avoid long-term damage, phenolic resin is capable of withstanding corrosive exposure with minimal effects. It’s an ideal material for lab use where corrosives are the norm. This science lab table top material can be applied to many of our tables. It’s common to find these science lab tables used in industrial settings where the highest resistance is needed against acids, corrosives, and strong chemicals in general.
Cured epoxy resins are one of the most resistant lab tabletop materials available and can withstand a wide range of different corrosives and chemicals. It achieves high ratings in chemical resistance tests and often minimally reacts or has no reaction at all to even harsh corrosives that quickly destroy other materials. As a nonporous material that can be easily applied to most surfaces, we can use this as atop layer coating on most of our tables. You’ll find it as an option for nearly all of our lab tables and workbenches.
Epoxy resin can withstand many different corrosives, but it’s uniquely suited for alkaline chemicals. That’s not to say it’s weak against acids. It’s highly resistant to both, but you’ll see it shine brightest against harsh alkaline chemicals. We recommend this top material for industrial labs where most projects involve corrosives. This will give you a table that will withstand many spills.
Laminated wood is surprisingly resistant to chemicals and would be incredible for home use. While it’s not the hardiest material for an industrial lab, it does provide light-duty resistance against a wide range of corrosive chemicals and is an affordable option where corrosives are used sometimes or rarely.
Much like with a polyurethane coating, we suggest cleaning and drying any spots as quickly as possible to avoid damage. As long as the laminate coating is well maintained, then chemicals like mineral acids and organic acids will have little effect. Long-term exposure can wear down the coating, so be sure to care for it and this table should last a long time. For extra protection, we have provided a solid phenolic backer on the underside for even more chemical resistance and industrial viability.
RDM Science Lab Tables Are a Great Choice…
RDM sciencelab tables and workbenchesare safe to use with chemicals and are resistant to many acids, corrosive materials, and other chemicals that wear through other table materials. Picking the right material is essential to achieving the level of protection you need. Laminated wood is ideal for home or school use with some limited industrial lab use as long as you are careful.
Polyurethane is very resistant, but be sure to clean any spills quickly to maintain the table’s integrity. A solid phenolic table or epoxy resin are both uniquely suited for harsh industrial chemicals. Both resist strong acids and alkaline chemicals. Find out more about these top layers by looking through our catalog ofindustrial lab tables.