India is one of the top manufacturer and exporter of drugs and medicines which has opened up a huge potential growth in private Research and development laboratories, Analytical laboratories, Quality Control laboratories, Quality Assurance laboratories & wet labs and it is estimated to grow further in the coming years. For a competent operation of laboratories its infrastructure needs to be of the best quality. Now choosing the Best quality laboratory furniture and laboratory fume hood is quite tricky. This article will help you to understand the different types of sheet metal used so you can choose the best sheet metal as per your lab requirements.
There are typically two types of sheet metal used in manufacturing of Laboratory Furniture’s:
Powder Coated Steel: Typically, there are two types of steel used in manufacturing of lab furniture, that are CRCA Steel and GI Steel.
All the ferrous materials are prone to rusting. However, Mild steel when passed through the process of cold rolling and cold annealing while forging develops CRCA Mild steel and when Iron is coated with protective Zinc coating Galvanized Iron is produced. Both these steel are forged to have resistance against rusting and oxidization. For further precautions to avoid corrosion these steels are to be powder coated with finely ground particles of pigment and resin. Powder coating is applied as a dry powder on the steel. Powder coating uses an electrostatic application process followed by a heated curing process in a curing oven. To complete the coating process, the powder coating is then evenly melted and cooled into a thin, durable film which covers the steel.
Both these steels “Cold Rolled Cold Annealed” (CRCA) and “Galvanized Iron” (GI), are best suited to perform powder coating on their surface however CRCA might have a upper edge on GI as CRCA steel’s surface is little rough and particles of polymer resin and pigments finds it easy to stick on rough surface granting laboratory furniture longer life.
Stainless Steel is made through the process of combining various irons like chromium, nickel, nitrogen and molybdenum which in return grants stainless steel ability to naturally resist corrosion. Chromium present in stainless steel reacts with oxygen in the environment to create a thin oxide film which protects stainless steel from rust. No additional coating is needed to protect it from corrosion.
Usually two grades of stainless steel are used in manufacturing of laboratory furniture and fume hoods. SS316L (Laboratory grade) is used to furnish, storage cabinets, apron Cabinets, cross over benches and SS304 is used in manufacturing of Fume Hoods.
Stainless Steel furniture and fume hoods are used in laboratories having high hygiene priority like Food industries and dairy industries.