Laboratories often feature specialized equipment designed to make it easy for scientist or researchers to perform their work. One of the most common features in the laboratory, are different types of furniture.Laboratory furniture’s are designed using different types of materials in order to withstand the rigors of the lab environment, thanks to the numerous experiments. The overall style of the furniture in the laboratory is usually determined by the laboratory specialty. The most common lab furniture categories include laboratory benches, forensic cabinets, apparel dispensers, carts, chemical cabinets, drawers and general cabinets.
Analysis of Different Types of Laboratory Furniture
Forensic furniture is used as a storage unit for evidence samples that are needed for forensic investigations. The furniture features various chambers as well as specialized compartments and systems such as ventilation unit. Some compartments operate using electricity for evidence preservation. General cabinets are used for storing general lab equipment, needed to perform experiments. The equipment includes; magnifying lenses, beaker tongs, rubber stoppers and tests. However, the design of general cabinets are often not as elaborate as that of forensic furniture.
Chemical cabinets, on the other hand, are used to store corrosive or volatile chemicals. For safety purposes, chemical cabinets are specially designed to prevent chemical spills. The materials used in making chemical cabinets are also designed to resist fire and corrosion. Carts are a versatile and common fixture in the laboratory. Carts can be used to move heavy and fragile items around the laboratory area. Drawers are usually affixed inside laboratory tables and general cabinets for convenience. They are mostly used to store essential items such as test tube racks, eye droppers, tongs, test tube clamps and flasks. Apparel dispensers, on the other hand, are specialized harness compartments for items such as coats, masks and gloves.
Some laboratory furniture are highly integrated to provide a workspace for undertaking wide ranging experiments. These types of laboratories are common in large industrial and research centers. To fit various end-user requirements, an integrated laboratory workspace can be achieved using elaborate shelving and benching systems. Examples of common laboratory benching systems include moveable, pedestal and suspended systems. When it comes to shelving, the main design styles include bespoke, flexible and standard designs. The flexible shelving design, for instance, is specially made to allow for height adjustment and shelf removal. Depending on your budget and scale of operation, shelving and benching systems come in different materials, colors and finishes.
The high cost and versatile nature of various lab furniture’s, demands that the materials used in making these fixtures be durable and adaptable. Although most of the furniture used in the lab can last more than 10 years, it is always important to choose the right furniture material when making an order. Surface choice is another critical factor to consider when purchasing furniture. This is the reason why quality factors such as chemical and bio-resistant surfaces have become very important. The most popular materials for lab fixtures include:
- Plastic laminate
- Phenolic resin
- Stainless steel
Furniture made from metal are usually much more expensive, but also sturdy and cost effective because metals can withstand a lot of pressure. Plastic laminate material is a much better option is you are running on a low budget. The downside of plastic laminate material is its short lifespan. Because of its fragile nature, it is important to identify your plastic laminate furniture’s usage before making a purchase. Stainless steel is a very popular and durable lab furniture material. In spite of the high cost, this material can easily withstand everyday wear and tear.
The versatile nature of stainless steel furniture has also made it a great choice for laboratories that place utmost premium on good hygiene. Wooden furniture’s, on the other hand, exude high aesthetic appeal. These types of furniture are also not as expensive compared to metal and stainless steel made furniture’s. Phenol Resin is a durable material that can withstand corrosion, just as steel. However, phenol resin made furniture is much more affordable compared to stainless steel made fixtures. Lastly, polypropylene is a highly expensive furniture material. The material is highly suitable for use in acidic environments.