For those in charge of laboratories, selecting the right industrial furniture for a lab can be challenging. Various factors such as safety requirements, storage needs, and function dictate the type of lab furniture one would require. No two laboratories are the same. While some will be basic, others have sterilization processes or microbial protections required. The biggest question revolves around the material used in the lab cabinet as well as countertops. This is a decision that one must take, especially if the workspace handles chemicals and other abrasive materials.
What are laboratory cabinets?
When it comes to laboratory cabinets, most variants are made up of stainless steel. This is due to steel components being very durable and providing the maximum strength and rigidity required by laboratory furniture. Stainless steel is also very effective for workspaces which require a sterile or hygienic environment. The last thing one needs is for bacteria, liquids, and fungus to enter the laboratory casework.
To summarize the benefits of using laboratory cabinets made of steel, we can mention the following points:
- Resistant to moisture, heat, and chemicals
- Durable under pressure
- Not susceptible to chipping or fading
- Easy to clean and maintain.
Types of laboratory cabinets:
Laboratory cabinets can provide a highly functional, flexible, and customizable solution to resolve the storage needs in a laboratory. However, there are several types, depending on the application and usage.
Standard steel lab cabinets:
Normally, these types of cabinets are made of high-quality steel. It is manufactured to be highly durable and resistant to any type of corrosion. Most use corrosion-resistant paint technology to achieve this. Steel lab cabinets also provide customization options.
Chemical-Resistant Laboratory Cabinet:
Laboratory cabinets which are chemical resistant are built with reinforced steel structures. The interior is lined with chemical-resistant material. They are a great storage option for chemicals and other potentially harmful materials.
Flame Resistant Cabinets:
Flame-resistant laboratory cabinets are usually made using 16-gauge steel, making them stronger than commercial cabinets. It ensures the best fire protection possible and is equipped with self-closing doors and other features.
Flow Hood Laboratory Cabinet:
Flow hood laboratory cabinets, also known as laminar flow hood workbench, flow cabinet, or laminar flow cabinets possess sterile enclosures which is use a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filtration system to keep the air clean. They are ideal for use in workplaces that use chemical substances and store biological samples. They are also found in medical research laboratories where the risk of contamination is usually high.
Biological Safety Lab Cabinet:
Biosafety cabinets are like laminar flow hoods. However, the only difference is that they come with additional protection for lab workers and the work environment. Therefore, they are ideal for laboratories that work with harmful or infectious materials such as a Covid testing lab.
How to choose the right lab cabinet for the laboratory?
Industrial furniture such as lab cabinets is a big investment and requires a well-informed decision. The lab cabinet is more than just a storage unit. It is the ultimate tool to organize a modern laboratory. But with a plethora of brands in the market, one should consider various factors as mentioned below.
Depending on the nature of work, it is possible that chemicals or any other dangerous liquid may accidentally spill onto the lab cabinet. There can also be particles in a laboratory that may stick to the surface of the cabinets. The laboratory thus requires a clean and hygienic atmosphere to function properly and avoid contamination. Therefore, the lab cabinets were chosen should always have a smooth and shiny surface, finished with steel melamine wood or laminated wood.
Strength of material:
As mentioned before, stainless steel is ideal for use in commercial furniture including laboratory cabinets. A laboratory normally hosts experiments with chemicals and alkaline and abrasive materials. Lab cabinets made from weak materials cannot withstand such chemicals. Therefore, lab cabinets made from stainless steel are always preferred.
Best utilization of space:
Modern lab cabinets are available in many sizes. This gives consumers the liberty to buy the one most suitable for the laboratory. To keep the workspace active and efficient, workers should have everything within their arm’s reach. The lab cabinets chosen should fit the space close to individual workstations.
Industrial furniture such as cabinets isn’t cheap. Sturdy laboratory cabinets are usually made of high-quality metals for durability, ergonomic features, and corrosion resistance. Instead of getting attracted to cheaper options produced by some brands, one should always consider quality before price.
Open shelving option:
Laboratory cabinets are an excellent tool for the lab to keep items safe and concealed. There are a few lab materials which are used frequently and must be kept in sight for easy access. Open shelving is an ideal solution in this case, as it offers above-counter storage. Workers can now easily reach the utensils from the above counters whenever required. When choosing laboratory cabinets with open-shelving, consumers must be sure of the quality of material used in their construction.
Overall better organization:
The cabinet is essential for keeping a lab organised. With many styles, sizes and configurations and features such as large and small shelves, lab cabinets can encourage organization in an otherwise busy work environment. A good practice is to group cabinets with drawers and place them next to individual workstations. One can also get specialized storage options for storing flammable materials and harsh chemicals.
The laboratory cabinets can be customized as per the needs of the laboratory. Selecting customized cabinets can improve the efficiency and productivity of any process. They can contribute towards improving the freedom of movement of workers. Thus, this essential piece of furniture provides a safer and less stressful work environment for all involved. To ensure that the quality is top-notch, laboratory cabinets should always be procured from reputed dealers and manufacturers which have proven track records.
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