The challenges that face laboratories today are complex.
With labs working as fast as they can to keep up with the demand, many facilities are updating their lab spaces to ensure work can be completed safely and efficiently.
Laboratory work surfaces play a critical role in the performance of a lab and what type of tests and procedures can be conducted within its walls. Today, many labs are turning to a phenolic resin countertop due to its ability to withstand the harsh conditions found inside a lab.
Phenolic Resin Is Ideal For Labs
Laboratory work surfaces must be able to withstand the harsh chemicals and substances found in a lab. If work surfaces cannot withstand these elements, a lab’s cleanliness standards can be at risk.
Phenolic resin countertops are ideal for labs because they:
- Hold up to impact and resist stress fractures
- Are highly resistant to bacteria, chemicals, fungus, moisture and scratches
- Are moderately to highly resistant to corrosion
- Can withstand continuous heat exposure up to 350 degrees F
Phenolic resin countertops also look great in a lab because they are one solid, lightweight piece that can be made in almost any configuration and shaped to the required size.
It is important to note that although phenolic resin is flame resistant, it is not flame retardant, meaning that it will eventually burn at high temperatures.
Use In Industry Is Increasing
Another reason more laboratories are turning to phenolic resin countertops is simply that the scope of work many labs are performing is changing.
In fact, the market for global clinical laboratory tests had a $176.7 billion value in 2019. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the market was forecasted to experience a growth of just over 7% by 2027.
Evolving procedures are common in laboratories today as new technology emerges and the research community grows. Most recently, several laboratories have contributed to conducting research on COVID-19 or performing coronavirus tests.
But the need for durable laboratory countertops that are resistant to volatile elements is common across several types of labs, from aerospace to ballistics and electronics.
For these laboratories, phenolic resin provides a safe choice.
Phenolic Resin Is Moderately Priced
Even when laboratories are experiencing growth, the price tag of any upgrade is a top consideration. Phenolic resin countertops are an attractive choice to many labs because they are a good long-term investment and fit into many budgets.
That’s because the material is typically mid-priced compared to other materials. Pricing typically averages $15 to $18 per square foot and increases based on modifications specific to a lab’s needs.
Phenolic resin is often compared to epoxy resin, a popular choice in many lab environments. While epoxy resin countertops offer many benefits as well, the material is a more expensive choice than phenolic resin. Yet phenolic resin provides 90% of the same benefits as epoxy resin, but for a much lesser price (epoxy resin can be as much as $100 to $200 per square foot).
This makes phenolic resin a great long-term investment as labs continue to expand their applications in changing times.
A Quick Turnaround Time Is Ideal
If your lab is in need of countertops quickly to meet the new demands of your space, phenolic resin is a good choice. That’s because with any quick change, availability of a material is crucial.
Phenolic resin is typically readily available. That’s because there are several phenolic resin manufacturers, while there are very few manufacturers of epoxy resin. This shortens lead times and your overall project timeline.
Phenolic resin is also an easier material to work with and customize. Customization of your phenolic resin project will not significantly impact your timeline and typically will not cost you significantly more because of this.
Phenolic Resin Plays A Critical Role In Your Lab’s Future
It’s now more important than ever to consider what the future of your lab is going to look like. As applications expand and the need for specialized lab services increases, being prepared is critical for securing contracts with companies and agencies that need your services … quickly.
Phenolic resin provides just that … a material that can withstand harsh conditions and changing needs in the laboratory space. Even more important, phenolic resin can withstand the rigorous cleaning requirements needed today to maintain cleanliness standards and ensure testing is not compromised.
Having the right work surface is just one component of an efficient lab space, but one that can impact the productivity of your entire space.