In the materials selection phase of the lab planning process, it is important to understand what makes a material capable of performance and longevity in a laboratory environment. In the following months we will review the many advantages to choosing Durcon Epoxy as a lab worksurface. Click on the icons below to learn more about each advantage.
The most critical attribute of a laboratory worksurface material is its resistance to damage caused by exposure to chemicals. Durcon Epoxy's strong performance is due to its monolithic, non-porous composition that does not allow corrosive chemicals to seep in and cause delamination, swelling or spalling.
To evaluate potential worksurface materials and rate strength of chemical resistance, SEFA (Scientific Equipment & Furniture Association) has established rigorous testing procedures and standards where chemicals commonly found in labs are applied to worksurface samples for a set duration, then washed, rinsed and rated. Durcon is proud to publish our SEFA results, which appear throughout our literature. When considering worksurface and sink materials for your next laboratory design, be assured Durcon Epoxy has the same composition the entire way through from surface to core.
Durcon Epoxy is synonymous with durability, another crucial aspect in selecting a lab worksurface material. The dense, heavy weight of Durcon Epoxy worksurfaces and sinks exemplifies the product’s quality and longevity. A high density also equips the material for assisting in vibration damping – an important function for sensitive lab equipment.
There are many vital factors to consider when evaluating a material’s physical properties such as water absorption and resilience against scratching, marring and impacts. These attributes are assessed and rated using standardized testing methods set by ASTM International (formerly American Society for Testing and Materials), results of which can be found in Durcon Epoxy product literature. Durcon Epoxy products are durable and will not wear down due to exposure to physical demands or corrosive chemicals.
LRV [LIGHT REFLECTANCE VALUE]
A material’s Light Reflectance Value, or LRV, indicates the amount of visible light reflected by the surface, as recorded by a spectrometer. When illuminated, different colors of epoxy worksurface material reflect or absorb uniquely specific quantities of light. There are numerous applications considering both ends of the LRV spectrum, and Durcon provides this data on all epoxy color offerings to facilitate collaboration between architects, designers, planners and lighting professionals.
High-reflective LRV colors can potentially reduce the amount of direct overhead lighting required, in turn lowering energy consumption and contributing to LEED points. Lower LRV colors may be more beneficial in labs requiring low glare that involve optics-related evaluation. Durcon Epoxy gives you the information to understand precisely what surface color is best for your project based on its requirements.
Durcon has deep roots in the world of laboratory sink and worksurface manufacturing. Since the 1960s, Durcon has built upon decades of experience in the epoxy resin industry to create the best possible product solutions for top tier labs in the higher education and research markets. Durcon continues to lead the way in lab functionality and innovation, from the early days of using epoxy resin as anti-corrosive coatings for pumps and pipes, to pioneering the overhang-eliminating “Drop-In” sink, to producing the environmentally conscious epoxy material Greenstone. Today, Durcon has an international footprint and our epoxy products frequently appear in award-winning labs around the world.
Durcon is a founding partner of the Scientific Equipment and Furniture Association (SEFA), a founding sponsor of the Texas Chapter of the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL), with memberships to the American Institute of Architects (AIA), International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA), United States Green Building Council (USGBC), and is certified ISO 9001:2015.
HEAT & FIRE RESISTANCE
Durcon Epoxy material is specifically advantageous in its resistance to heat and flames as it is intentionally manufactured to be a product material ideally suited for laboratory usage. Our epoxy’s resilience against damage from direct contact with heated instruments – such as crucibles or Bunsen burners – is an attribute that reinforces the durability and longevity of the material. Its strong heat and fire resistance also make it an obvious choice for fume hood bases.
Results of a recently performed, industry standard ASTM E84-17 Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials test rate Durcon Epoxy as Class A for Flame Spread Index, scoring a best-possible 0 out of 200. Epoxy is similarly classified as Self-Extinguishing by the results of an ASTM D635 test, further aiding in the prevention of fires in laboratories. See more results from Durcon Epoxy’s heat and flame testing under Physical & Fire Testing in the Durcon Epoxy Product Catalog.
SAFE & CLEAN
Durcon Epoxy products contribute to a safe, clean environment – an absolute necessity required in laboratory spaces. Durcon Epoxy worksurfaces and sinks are uniform, molded and monolithic. Each are one solid piece of non-porous material meaning no risk of delamination or swelling, which can easily trap bacteria and hinder the thorough cleaning required in a lab setting.
Specifically, Durcon Epoxy Drop-In Sinks are advantageous due to their unique installation method that does not require under-mount support, and instead simply drops into place. This seals the worksurface cutout and eliminates any overhang above the sink basin, which can become a collection area for residual chemicals and bacteria. Additionally, Durcon Epoxy material contains no asbestos, will not ignite, is non-conductive and is exceptional for ease of decontamination for use in radioactive areas.
Greenstone is Durcon’s exclusive option for eco-friendly, lab-grade epoxy resin worksurface material. Greenstone integrates a minimum of 10% post-consumer recycled material and low VOC levels while not compromising on durability, performance or appearance. Using Greenstone for your project can also contribute towards LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) credits.
Like Durcon Epoxy worksurfaces, Greenstone is nonporous, monolithic composition, consistent color throughout, cannot delaminate and is easy to clean. Greenstone boasts the same uncompromising heat, chemical, scratch and stain resistance as standard Durcon Epoxy, in addition to having a more sustainable environmental impact. Full testing data is available in Greenstone Product Literature, and color samples of Greenstone material can be requested from email@example.com.
Durcon Epoxy worksurfaces and sinks products are formulary reviewed, audited and certified to meet the NSF/ANSI 51 Standard (National Sanitation Foundation / American National Standards Institute), the purpose of which is to establish minimum food protection and sanitation requirements for the materials used in the construction of commercial food equipment. This ensures that the composition and surface finish of food equipment materials are such that a material will not adulterate food nor render food equipment difficult to clean and sanitize.
This is advantageous as it further establishes Durcon Epoxy material’s cleanability, corrosion resistance, impact resistance, abrasion resistance, heat resistance, and coating adhesion ability requirements and testing methods for food equipment materials of construction, as applicable. Our epoxy upholds the NSF Standard, and is suitable for usage in lab areas where food is tested, prepared or present.
INDOOR AIR QUALITY
Durcon Epoxy products are certified Greenguard Gold by UL Solutions, a designation that demonstrates both compliance with key chemical low-emission standards, and a commitment to healthier indoor environments. Greenguard Gold requires lower total VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) emissions levels to ensure that products are acceptable for use in settings such as schools and healthcare facilities.
Our epoxy exhibits no off-gassing, has minimal impact on indoor spaces making it safe for children in classrooms, and is a positive contributing factor towards a healthy workplace environment. UL Greenguard Certification criteria have also served as the basis for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credit for low-emitting furniture since 2002.
MADE IN THE USA
Durcon Epoxy products are 100% produced in the USA and comply with the Build America, Buy America Act. Using Durcon Epoxy worksurfaces & sinks for your lab not only helps support American jobs and workers, it minimizes the risk of shipping delays and complications to your project, as well as reduces taxes and import fees.
At Durcon, American workers are afforded opportunities to grow their career in a multitude of fields. We are proud to have a high average tenure and employees who strongly believe in their work and the products they manufacture.
Dream it. Build it. See it. Durcon’s Visualizer is a real-time digital design tool for lab planners and designers to conceptualize Durcon lab material, finish and color choices in two distinct environments based on laboratory layouts typically found in the K-12 & university education setting, as well as an R&D and healthcare arrangement.
To visualize your idea, select one of the pre-configured lab floorplans, then choose your preferred Durcon worksurface material, edge profile and color - and immediately see its appearance in context with other modular lab components such as cabinets, shelving, fixtures and wall paint colors, all of which are also offered in a wide variety of color and finish options.
Visit www.Durcon.Visualizapro.com to design your vision.
The Durcon Epoxy signature appearance is defined by a smooth, low glare surface paired with solid, color-matching edges which are comprised of the same material as the top and bottom of the piece. On the functional level, the nonporous surface makes the worktop easy to clean and maintain, and the monolithic composition means chemical resistance is the same throughout the entire piece.
On the aesthetic level, the reduced glare surface makes for desirable LRVs (see Epoxy Advantage #3 - Light Reflectance Values above), and the true color-through core provides the classic, timeless appearance of a high-end laboratory. This appearance is less likely to be achieved with surfaces where the fabricated edges expose a mismatched core.
Durcon is proud to be a founding member of The Scientific Equipment and Furniture Association (SEFA) since 1988. For the past 35 years, SEFA has organized to meet the needs of lab designers and manufacturers of laboratory furniture with the goal of creating a standard for safe, laboratory-grade environments.
SEFA members work together to establish, monitor, and modify industry-wide recommended practices in the areas of fume hoods, laboratory worksurfaces, furniture installations, casework and fixtures.
Durcon is a member of the American Institute of Architects, an organization that advocates for the value of architecture and provides architects with the resources they need to do their best work, while driving positive change through the power of design.
Durcon is also an AIA Continuing Education provider (Provider Number 404108247), and offers sessions for a course on Designing Laboratory Worksurfaces (Course Number DLW2023). Upon completing this live course, participants receive a credit of 1 Learning Unit for Health, Safety & Wellness (1 LU|HSW). To schedule a group session, please contact the Durcon Architectural Specs Manager, Beto Garcia, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Under our parent organization of Wilsonart Engineered Surfaces, Durcon is a member of the International Surface Fabricator’s Association. ISFA is globally recognized as a premier trade organization serving the decorative surface industry. ISFA exists to help fabricators and other industry professionals improve safety measures, increase product quality, encourage professionalism and elevate profitability by facilitating education, standards and camaraderie.
Durcon is fully aligned with ISFA’s value of innovation, dependability, trust, honesty, ethics, and serving others above all else.
SCS CERTIFIED RECYCLED CONTENT
Durcon Greenstone Epoxy is our sustainable option for epoxy worksurfaces and is certified as conforming to the SCS Recycled Content Standard V7-0 for containing a minimum 10% post-consumer recycled glass content in the category of Building and Construction Product – Solid Surface/Countertops, by the Scientific Certification System (SCS) Global Services.
Since 1984, SCS has been a pioneer and leader in the field of sustainability standards and third-party certification, working across the economy in the natural resources, built environment, food and agriculture, consumer products and climate sectors. View our SCS Recycled Content certificate.
USGBC & LEED CREDITS
Durcon is a member of the United States Green Building Council. The USGBC is a private, membership-based non-profit organization that promotes sustainability in building design, construction, and operation. USGBC is best known for its development of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, which rates green building systems for projects such as schools, healthcare and commercial buildings.
Durcon Greenstone Epoxy worksurfaces meet several LEED standards that can contribute toward accreditation shown below. LEED-certified buildings have been proven to save money, increase efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, and promote healthier living environments.
Credit MR 3.1 & 3.2 - Material Reuse
Credit MR 4.1 & 4.2 - Recycled Content
Credit MR 5.1 & 5.2 - Point of Manufacture/Extraction
Credit EQ 4.1 - VOC Content (Healthcare & School Buildings)
Check back regularly for new Epoxy Advantages and continue learning about what makes Durcon Epoxy the right type of material for your lab use.