A laboratory is a place where experiments are often conducted. It’s important to note, that there are different kinds of laboratories. The most common types of laboratories are the chemical and biological labs. These labs contain various types of equipment and apparatuses. However, the most common lab component that is found in all kinds of labs is the laboratory workbench. It is also known as a laboratory work table.
Laboratory workbenches are platforms where apparatuses and equipment are placed during experiments and other laboratory testings. This means that without laboratory work tables, it’s next to impossible to carry out various experiments. The part of the laboratory where the work table is situated is called a laboratory workstation.
There are certain factors that one should consider when installing laboratory workstations. These factors include:
There is no standard size for a laboratory. This means that there are workbenches of different sizes. It is therefore advisable to buy a bench that fits well in the laboratory. Working on small benches is difficult. Many laboratory apparatus are fragile and should thus be handled with utmost care. When the laboratory bench is small, the apparatus is more prone to falling. These types of accidents can harm the laboratory user as many chemicals are toxic. Oversized benches, on the other hand, occupy a lot of space. If the bench is larger than required, it makes it difficult to move around the laboratory workstation. When buying a laboratory bench, it is also important to consider the size of the door, stairs, and hallway. This ensures that it is easy to pass the bench into the laboratory during installation.
There are different types of laboratory bench surfaces. The choice of a surface is determined by the type of the experiments conducted in the lab. A good laboratory surface should be resistant to chemicals and water. This is because, in some experiments, corrosive reagents are used. If the workbench is made of a light material, it is likely to wear off when these corrosive chemical spills. A laboratory bench should also endure high temperatures. Some experiments in the lab require heating. A bench made of a light material is likely to get destroyed during heating.
The following are some common materials used to build laboratory workbenches:
? Plastic Laminate
Most laboratory work tables are made of this material. It is scratch resistant. The material has minimum resistance to corrosive chemicals. It is therefore suitable for conducting unreactive experiments. Plastic laminate wears out easily when encountered with highly caustic chemicals. The material cannot also endure very high temperatures.
? Chemguard Laminate
This material is similar to plastic laminate. However, Chemguard Laminate is slightly resistant to less reactive chemicals and heat. It is therefore suitable for conducting experiments that use less reactive chemicals.
Most laboratory benches in colleges and high schools are made of phenolic. This material is preferred since it is easy to clean. Phenolic is also stain proof. Additionally, the material is resistant to most standard chemicals.
? Epoxy Resin
Epoxy resin is the best material for making laboratory bench surfaces. The material is resistant to corrosive chemicals. It can also withstand high heat conditions.
Purpose of the table
It is crucial to keep in mind the nature of experiments to be conducted when purchasing a lab table. For example, if the experiments require many reagents and apparatus, a table with storage cabinets will be helpful. This ensures that the laboratory workstations are kept clean always. It is also possible to access the reagents easily during working.
A good laboratory bench should stay in good condition for an extensive period. Proper maintenance of the working table is necessary to increase its lifetime. A lab work table should be regularly cleaned. All spilled chemicals should be cleaned immediately.
Without a laboratory bench, it is next to impossible to carry out various important experiments. It is therefore vital that the workbench is kept in good condition at all times. It is also essential to choose a material that suits the laboratory’s experiments.