Most steel cabinetry is made of heavy duty, 12-gauge steel for to provide heavy-duty construction for maximum strength and rigidity. Steel typically has a powder coat finish, which resists cracking, peeling, and chipping. Powder coat is abrasion, corrosion and chemical resistant. This does not mean that it will not crack, peel, chip, scratch, or corrode, but it is more resistant than most other finishes. Codes dictate that the bottom, top, door, and sides of metal cabinets shall be at least No. 18 gage sheet metal and double walled with 1½‐inch air space. The door shall be provided with a three‐point lock, and the door sill shall be raised at least 2 inches above the bottom of the cabinet. Steel looks clean and state of the art. Factor in multiple color options and the ability to have custom colors, and you can create a beautiful laboratory. The main benefit for steel in this category is that steel looks better over time with the wear and tear that labs are subjected to.
Some of the common applications for stainless steel cabinets and furniture include:
Hospital operating rooms
Pharmaceutical manufacturing and research labs
Animal research labs
Food research and testing labs
Bio safety labs
There have some benefits of this stainless steel lab cabinets like-
Powder coating is one of the most durable protective coatings available for metal surfaces, and proper care will help prolong the finish. Cleaning harmful chemicals and surface contaminants off as soon as possible will prevent damage to the finish. Warm water and soap is recommended, but most commercial cleaners can also be used. It is recommended that Acetone, mineral spirits or lacquer thinners be used, as they could compromise the finish. Mopping around steel bases is not an issue.
Stainless steel is made of low carbon steel that consists of chromium and nickel. Chromium makes it resistant to rust and corrosion.
Stainless steel has significant chemical resistance. Most salts, organic chemicals, solvents and biological stains are not an issue. Some acids and bases are also not an issue.
A few harsh acids (acetic acid, phosphoric acid, sulfuric acid) and bases (sodium hydroxide) are not recommended for use with stainless steel.
Nickel in stainless steel makes it heat resistant. It can sustain continuous heat exposure above 1500 °F. There may be some discolor with prolonged high temperatures, but “it can take the heat”.
This means stainless steel is a great fit for labs that use equipment with open flames, such as Bunsen burners.
Stainless steels metal composition makes it highly impact resistant. In labs, there is usually a lot of movement of tools and equipment. While stainless steel can be dented, it is very difficult to puncture, so you don’t need to worry about piercing the clear coat finish (wood) or chipping paint (metal).
Stainless steel is a recyclable material. The main alloying elements of stainless steel (chromium, nickel and molybdenum) are all highly valuable and can be easily be recovered and separated from other materials.
Today, where environmental issues are so important in saving and preserving our world, stainless steel is cleaner for the environment.
Lab equipment and furniture is an important investment, so it is important to know what product is right for your particular lab application. With the right choice, you lab furniture will be functional, durable and stand the test of time.