It’s a world probably first appreciated the moment you saw your first high school or college chemistry classroom. Yes, the room was impressive to look at, but in that room you also learned the importance of all that special lab furniture and equipment. From the tall, stone-topped workstations where you conducted class experiments to the glass-fronted cabinets where equipment and materials were stored, those labs didn’t look like your typical classroom—but years later, it’s easy to forget the impressiveness and importance of dedicated laboratory furniture and equipment. Hopefully, this brief ode to what makes the furniture in your laboratory so special will bring back those early lessons.
Dedicated Lab Furniture Is Strong and Sturdy
While office computers might be getting smaller and lighter every year, research equipment doesn’t necessarily follow those trends. Rather than being focused on portability and convenience, mass spectrometers and HPLCs are created with an emphasis on performance and durability. This means that you need to think carefully before putting one of those large, heavy machines on a something not designed to support them.
Take HPLCs, for example. They’re being stacked so high (since lab space is at such a premium) that it’s impossible to work with them unless they can be lowered for access. We created the IonBench LC with this specific issue in mind. With the touch of a button, you can safely raise and lower your bench, allowing for easy access without the danger of an HPLC stack accidentally falling over on someone.
Liquid-handling robotics are another type of specialized equipment that can’t be placed on a standard desk or table. Not only are they large, heavy machines, but they often need to be moved around the lab. And with all of that movement during sample handling, conventional furniture can drift around, disturbing critical connections. This means that they must be properly placed on a solid piece of specially designed furniture that can be repositioned in the lab without anything falling off.
Specialized Lab Furniture Minimizes Errors
Lost alignment or falling objects aren’t the only issues that cause errors in a research lab. Think for a moment about the mass spectrometer in your lab. In addition to being large and heavy, it’s also noisy. If you don’t do something to mask the noise of the roughing pumps, you’re never going to hear anything your colleagues are saying (without them yelling, that is). With dedicated lab furniture, those pumps are hidden away within specially designed enclosures that both muffle the noise and vent the heat generated by their operation. You’re not going to find that in a standard cubicle desk!
Another way dedicated lab furniture assists you is by facilitating accurate measurements. Balances are required for measuring to a high level of accuracy, but they only work if you’ve got a minimum level of vibration. Standard office furniture isn’t designed with vibration issues in mind, but furniture designed specifically for lab settings is virtually vibration-proof. This also helps with microscopes, since it eliminates the subtle vibrations in your furniture that could cause distorted images while working at high magnification.
Dedicated Lab Furniture Contributes to Lab Safety
Dangerous and toxic substances are stored in labs all the time, and they certainly can’t just be thrown into the drawer of an office desk. Well-constructed chemical cabinets are designed specifically with these substances in mind. They typically feature fire-retardant materials, ventilation systems, and additional safeguards to prevent or minimize lab safety issues like spills or accidental exposure.
It’s clear that laboratories require special furniture of many types, and certain pieces of equipment need dedicated lab furniture as well. Don’t overlook all the logistical and safety needs of your lab—contact us today to learn more about our line of dedicated lab furniture for mass spectrometers and HPLCs.