Like all school equipment, science lab furniture needs to be highly durable but also highly functional. Casework and cabinets have to endure frequent hard use and often caustic chemicals. They also have to support and enhance the learning environment, so your science lab can keep pace with new trends in educational curricula and programming.
Furniture options like these ensure flexibility and practicality:
- Casework that comes in solid hardwood, solid oak or oak veneer and has a chemical-resistant, environmentally friendly UV finish. Configuration choices should offer drawers, doors, or a door/drawer combination.
- One-inch thick tops with backsplash, made of solid epoxy or phenolic resin for superior chemical resistance.
- Wall cabinets with a choice of solid oak veneer doors or solid oak-framed doors fitted with safety glass. Cabinets should have adjustable shelves, locks and the same UV finish as casework.
Insist on SEFA certification to ensure your science lab furniture can withstand the most rigorous usage. The Scientific Equipment and Furniture Association sets industry standards for quality and safety. Tests are performed by independent labs and specifically measure the following characteristics:
- Cabinets – structural integrity, load-bearing capacity, function under load, and ability to resist standing water
- Doors – strength and durability of door and hardware under load, door impact resistance, function of hinge hardware after 100,000 cycles, strength and impact resistance of drawer components under load and function quality after 50,000 cycles
- Shelving – strength of shelf and mounting hardware
- Wall cabinets – strength of back and joinery as well as door function
- Tables — structural integrity under racking load
- Countertop surface — resistance to chemical spills and hot water, and impact resistance (no resulting cracks or checks)
The chemical spills test includes 49 chemicals, because it’s critical that science lab furniture be impervious to corrosive solutions and also nonporous, for easy cleaning and decontamination.
When you’re choosing science lab furniture, look for functional options that match your school’s needs, superior construction materials and SEFA certification. The best quality science lab furniture should perform as well after many years of tough use as it does on the first day. And that shouldn’t be an “option,” because durability and safety are essential to protect students and the school district’s science lab investment.