What is Laboratory workbench?
A highly functional laboratory demands a spacious, well-furnished working surface. Of many furniture and hardware, the laboratory workbench is the single most essential item for a practitioner’s need. The worktable offers space to conduct successful researches and perform experiments, follow procedures, take data readings, and whatnot. Well, to sum up, the workbench is the final destination where all samples, pieces of equipment, and accessories are collected and worked over.
Why do you need to make the right choice?
Often, people hurry into buying a product without giving it second thoughts. But wait, these lab tables are not normal tabletops that provide workable space. An advanced laboratory has to be updated and equipped keeping in mind the scientific approach for its research. Let us look into what are the parameters for ideal workbenches.
Ideal countertop material:
The top surface of the bench is a prime consideration. The right surface material should be convenient to work on, durable, and corrosion-resistant. The material used for a workstation varies depending on the nature of the industry for which experiments are being carried out. Some common ones are :
Stainless steel is nonporous, stain-resistant, and easily available for surface top material. It is common in diagnostic centers and forensic labs.
The Electro Static Dissipative (ESD) material is conductive and diffuses static electricity from workstations to protect electrical gadgets and other sensitive devices from shocks. It is perfect for the semiconductor manufacturing industry.
Although these are similar to epoxy resin, it is much more lightweight and resistant to fungal or bacterial growth and chemical reactions. They are useful in those laboratories that carry out experiments at higher temperatures up to 350°F.
A common robust tabletop material that enhances longevity.
These are composed of wood glue along with thick slabs. It is suited to glassware surfaces. Such countertop blocks can be sanded and lubricated when withered, burned, or nicked.
Detailed Built-in storage:
An exemplary workbench would be one that is multifunctional in property and easily manageable. One should look for an optimized tabletop that provides ample space for working along with multiple storage built-in features like
- Additional cabinets for abundant storage
- Heavy-duty drawers
- Pegboards to hang tools
- Additional roll-in and collapsible workspace
- Front-facing adjustable power strips
- Power plugs for electrical connections
- Overhead LED tubes and bulbs for brighter lighting
Size of Workbench:
A laboratory should be spacious enough for the technician to work without unnecessary cramming. The bench depth and height varies according to the user specification. An ideal workbench is around 30- 60 inches deep with an average height of 30-36 inches tall and 25-30 inch wide. The benchtop size determines essential aspects for the comfortable working of lab personnel. The modifications are made according to the room size and space needed so that there is enough legroom area for a person sitting on a stool. The height should neither be too low nor too high to be out of reach. Other features that influence the size are plumbing, proximity to essential instruments, lighting areas, etc.
Fulfills the requirements:
What would be the use of a furbished bench if it does not fulfill your basic requirements? For example, the needs of a pharmaceutical laboratory are different from that where an electronic research space. The former deals in solid and liquid chemical handling, storage space for beakers, test tubes, etc. whereas the latter needs a wider space for detailed work like handling chips, wires, screws, battery connections, and many more. Thus it is always important to have a clear idea of the nature of work.
A workbench should be light and portable for flexible working conditions. It should allow the researcher to go with the workflow. If your working space is limited and carries heavy apparatus, it is better to find the best-fixed spot to maneuver your work. In case your projects require multiple working conditions, opt for a mobile lab bench.
The ideal benchtop is one that is customized to meet the user’s needs. There should always be an option of color choices, the material used, dimensions, add-ins, etc. A user would always prefer such furniture that is affordable, feasible and requires low maintenance.