Today, laboratories must comply with rigorous codes and meet the highest international standards. As a result, choosing the best countertop material for your laboratory is of crucial importance. Epoxy resin countertops are ideal for educational labs, as well as research and development environments in the medical, government, and pharmaceutical industries. This can be attributed to the durability and chemical, stain, and heat resistant qualities of epoxy resin lab countertops. Read on to find out why you should choose epoxy resin countertops for your next laboratory project.
Epoxy Resin Lab Countertops
How is Epoxy Resin Made?
Epoxy resin countertops are made from a mixture of materials including epoxy resin, silica, and also a hardener and filler. Durcon, an industry leader in epoxy resin countertops and sinks, uses a unique process that includes a special curing state to ensure a complete chemical reaction throughout the material. The final result is a high-quality, lab-grade, uniform work surface. All Durcon products are tested to SEFA chemical resistance standards as well as moisture, heat, and flammability resistance.
Benefits of Epoxy Resin
This material is known for being heavy-duty, durable, and non-porous. As a result, epoxy resin holds up well in extreme environments. In fact, because of its high water and moisture resistance, epoxy resin is often used around sinks and other areas prone to any kind of moisture. Due to the extreme heat and chemical resistant properties, epoxy surfaces will appear new years after installation.
Epoxy resin is a great choice for laboratories that require chemical and flame resistance. Manufacturers use epoxy resin to fabricate countertops, lab sinks, fume hoods, and balance tables in the following applications.
- Research areas
- K-12 labs
- University labs
- Biomedical labs
- Hospital labs
- Chemical labs
- Highly corrosive environments
- Clinic pharmaceutical labs
- Molecular pathology labs
- Industrial testing facilities
- Applied science research labs
Manufacturers can modify the properties of the epoxy mixture to provide unique characteristics. Although black is the most popular work surface in the lab industry, there are many color options that can meet your specific requirements. Epoxy resin countertop configurations are highly customizable. In fact, you can design and install the material as a customized classic countertop work surface, along walls, or have specialty molded shapes for different island styles like octagons or circles.
Types of edge finishes:
Bevel Edge Finish
Machine beveled edges are the laboratory industry gold standard finish. This type of finish provides the greatest flexibility for many applications.
Radius Edge Finish
Manufacturers use the same exacting standards as the bevel finish to create a radius edge finish on the countertops. However, the main difference between radius edge and bevel edge finishes is the rounded corners. Rounded corners offer additional safety and comfort for laboratory users.
Marine Edge Finish
Marine edge finishes are great for areas in which liquid containment is a priority. This type of finish helps protect casework flooring as well as lab users by containing spills on the work surface.
Phenolic Resin vs Epoxy Resin
The high costs associated with epoxy resin products are a cause for concern for many companies. However, the good news is that there is another material that might work for your lab. Phenolic resin offers many of the same benefits as epoxy resin, however, at a fraction of the price.
The main difference between the two materials is their formulation, and overall resistance to heat, solvents, and acids. Phenolic resin countertops are not flame retardant. As a result, phenolic resin countertops can only withstand heat exposure up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, epoxy resin is a better material for workspaces that require a higher degree of flame resistance.
The average lead time for phenolic resin tends to be shorter than the lead time for epoxy resin. When you choose phenolic resin or epoxy lab countertops, suppliers will measure your space before the countertops go into production. Although this can lead to larger upfront investments and lead times, this helps minimize any in-field modifications.
Trust the experts
Contour Construction understands the challenges of sorting through all options available to best meet the needs of your project. Don't overcomplicate the installation process. When it's time to install your new epoxy resin countertops, trust the experts. Contact Contour Construction Inc. to receive an installation estimate today.
Additional Reading: Materials To Consider For Your Lab Countertops
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