Favorite Lab Wall Shelving
Last week we installed our favorite type of laboratory wall shelving – K & V standards and brackets and phenolic resin shelves – on a project. The system installs quickly, is easy to adjust and has great chemical-resistance and load capacity.
Wall Standards and Brackets
We really like Knape & Vogt’s extra-duty 85/185 series of wall standards and brackets because of the ease of installation and adjustment. And with a load capacity of 160 lb per bracket, it’s plenty heavy-duty.
The 85 standards feature a double slot design with 1" vertical slot adjustability. They are furnished with mounting holes punched every 12" so they can be installed quickly. The standards are available in lengths from 24" to 96" (12" increments).
The “fingers” on the 185 brackets make them easy to install and adjust – there are no screws or bolts to mess with. And because of the double slot design, the brackets fit very securely against the standards with very little left-to-right play. There are holes in the brackets for screwing the shelves down but we prefer to just let the shelves rest on the brackets and not screw them down. This makes it easier to adjust the shelves – remove the shelf, re-position the brackets and reset the shelf. The 1/4" high lip on the front of the brackets helps keep the shelves in position, so screwing the shelves down really is optional. The brackets are available in various depths from 8" to 24" (2 inch increments).
We prefer K & V’s Anochrome finish (electro zinc-plated and lacquered cold rolled steel) as it provides a clean look with no paint that can potentially chip off when the brackets are adjusted.
The shelving material that we used on this project was 3/4" thick phenolic resin (Labolam by Arpa). The surface characteristics and load capacity of phenolic resin make it an ideal material for laboratory shelving.
What is Phenolic Resin?
Probably easiest just to quote from Labolam's product brochure:
The panel structure consists of layers of paper impregnated with thermosetting resins. The core is obtained from Kraft paper impregnated with phenolic resins, while the panel surface consists of decorative paper impregnated with melamine resin properly treated in order to ensure elevated resistance to chemical agents. Impregnated sheets are subject to the combined action of pressure (8 Mpa) and temperature (150 °C) for approx 90 minutes; this results in an irreversible chemical-physical transformation through the poly-condensation of the resins.
Labolam Product Brochure - 89 KB
Two Good Surfaces
Labolam has two good surfaces – a chemical-resistant top surface and a matching decorative bottom surface. So, you get the chemical-resistance that you want on the top side and a nice, finished appearance on the bottom. Perfect for shelving.
Excellent Load Capacity
The chart below shows the uniform loads which cause 1/4" deflection for both 3/4" and 1" thick phenolic resin shelves (12" W.). Note: The shelves are not fixed at either end.
|Shelf Thickness||12" W. x 24" L.||12" W. x 36" L.||12" W. x 48" L.|
|3/4"||1,400 lb||400 lb||170 lb|
|1"||2,600 lb||780 lb||330 lb|
It is hard to imagine loading 12" W. shelves with this much weight, so in most cases you would be looking at zero deflection. Additionally, and as was the case on this project, you can easily get by with 3/4" material (as opposed to 1") if your wall standard spacing is 24" or less.
And, before I forget, the approximate weights for 3/4" and 1" thick phenolic resin:
- 3/4" - 5 lb/sq. ft.
- 1" - 7 lb/sq. ft.
Update - 2/28/20: See related post Screws in Phenolic Resin for tips on using sheet metal screws and machine screws for attachment to phenolic.