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Laboratory casework includes base cabinets, wall cabinets, and storage and supply cabinets. Casework may be made of several different materials, the most common being wood, plastic laminate, and metal. The type of casework installed depends on the needs of the particular laboratory. Different settings which employ the use of laboratory casework include schools, hospitals, pharmaceutical and biotech companies. A traditional approach often used to outfit laboratories is installation of "made to order" furniture and cabinetry. It can be difficult to reuse and is most often scrapped when a space change to the laboratory setting is needed. The newest type of laboratory casework is fully modular, which allows it to be customized and rearranged to fit the growing needs of the laboratory.
Wood casework is often made out of oak, birch, or a high-grade plywood. The cabinet doors come in a variety of designs. Plastic laminate casework is an economical alternative to wood and metal casework, and is often used in elementary, middle school, and high school science, art, or home economics labs. Metal casework can come in a variety of colors, and is usually painted with a chemically-resistant baked on epoxy powder coating. Steel casework has unique benefits, including a smooth and easily cleaned surface with the durability to stand up to strong chemicals and abrasion. Stainless steel casework is a particularly good choice for areas subject to high moisture and frequent cleaning as well as heavy abrasion and abuse. For high-moisture areas, a cheaper alternative to stainless steel casework is phenolic resin casework, which is corrosion and fire resistant.
Quality casework built to last should feature a through-bolt construction technique, as opposed to flimsy dowels and glue. It should also have a chemically-resistant, easy to clean finish. Other laboratory components which complement casework include fume hoods, countertops, sinks, and plumbing fixtures. Along with these products, casework is a necessity in any laboratory and provides a convenient means of storage and organization.
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