Care & Maintenance of Epoxy Resin Laboratory Work Surfaces
Epoxy Resin work surfaces are durable, non-porous, man-made stone products that are relatively unaffected by most chemicals, heat, ame and moisture. These super-tough surfaces’ physical properties are seldom compromised; however, they do require periodic care and maintenance throughout the life of the lab or school room to keep the surfaces looking like new. Whether you are a facility owner, manager, custodian or lab user, it is helpful to know how to maintain the good appearance of your lab’s work surfaces.
Epoxy Resin work surfaces are durable, non-porous, man-made stone products that are relatively unaffected by most chemicals, heat, ame and moisture.
Regular Care Procedures
We recommend instituting a regimen of monthly or quarterly inspections of all surfaces, sinks and joints, plus daily or weekly cleanings to maintain your epoxy resin’s original nish and to help ensure a safe, uncontaminated working environment. The following list contains items you may wish to have on-hand for regular cleaning and to handle most problems that may occur.
Note: Never use wax or polish containing wax on epoxy resin work surfaces or sinks. Also, never use abrasive pads, powders or liquids (such as Soft Scrub) as dulling of the surface will result.
Work Surface Care
Promptly wipe up all spills. Acetone should be used (where allowed) to thoroughly clean surfaces. Apply and wipe away with a paper towel or a clean rag. As an alternative, Crystal Simple Green® (or comparable household cleaning product) can be used to clean surfaces.
An occasional application of nish oil or Murphy’s Oil® can restore the luster to the surface, but remember; too much oil can cloud the surface.
Epoxy Resin Sink Care
Laboratory sink areas usually present the greatest cleaning and maintenance challenges. Sinks are a collection point for dirty and wet lab ware which leaves liquids, residue and chemicals on the surface for extended periods of time. Sink areas will require a more thorough cleaning regimen than dry bench tops as well as more frequent inspections. Sink inspections should include all sink surfaces and joints in sink the area including the outlet joint and the sink rim joint above and below the work surface. Cracked or pitted joints should be lled immediately with two-part Smooth-On® epoxy grout to prevent leaking and damage to the supporting casework.
Marring, Scratches & Stains
If there is a more serious cleaning issue it is important to identify the problem before trying to remedy it.
Most metals are softer than the work surface and can leave a mar if pulled across the top. Marring is matter left on the surface that appears as a line and remains smooth to the touch. Marring can almost always be removed with acetone or with mild cleaning products and elbow grease.
Always try the softest cloth and the weakest solution (soap and water) first. If marring persists, progress to a white Light Duty Scotchbrite® Pad moistened with stronger solutions. Never use a dry Scotchbrite pad or a more abrasive pad and always apply the minimum amount of pressure required on the surface to
remove the mar.
Harder metals, abrasives and heavy or sharp items can
dig into the surface resulting in a scratch. Scratches usually
appear as a lighter shade of the surface and will be rough to the touch. Scratches in epoxy resin are permanent but will not a ect work surface performance.
An aesthetic remedy for scratches is coloring in the void with a perma- nent marker. This option will never perfectly match the color and gloss of the surrounding surface.
Staining can be caused by chemicals left to dry on the surface. Chemical stains usually lighten or bleach the surface but can also roughen and even crack the top. Like scratches, chemical stains are permanent and, if they have caused too much damage, you may need to replace of the top.
Special Care Issues
Epoxy resin products (especially glued in sinks) are subject to thermal shock and are not warranted against damage from liquid nitrogen or dry ice. Possible e ects caused by the improper disposal of these materials include joint failure and/or sink fractures.