We’ve done posts about BenchPro benches before. They are one of our most popular lines of industrial workbenches, and for good reason, BenchPro is affordable, well-made, durable, easily assembled and accessorized. They offer many different styles of bench from standard four leg configurations to two leg cantilever, height adjustable and even a high capacity style that can withstand loads of up to 20,000 pounds!

One aspect of BenchPro we might not have gone over in-depth is the worksurface options, BenchPro has the largest selection of laminates and surface materials on our website.

Lets take a closer look at the different surfaces:

Laminates

Standard Laminate

Standard laminate is just that, the standard choice of laminate for BenchPro. This laminate is manufactured by Formica®, makers of the original high pressure laminate. Formica standard laminate is the thickest laminate BenchPro offers at 0.040″ thick and sealed around five sides of a solid particleboard core, the bottom of standard BenchPro tables are sealed with heavy-duty paper-based backing.

Formica laminate is a durable and attractive laminate option, and when cared for properly can last for a long time. To care for Formica laminate, it is important to avoid certain types of cleansers. Do not use abrasive cleaners, powders, scouring pads, steel wool, or sandpaper, etc. to clean laminate surfaces. Formica looks best and will last longest when washed with a mild detergent and soft cloth.

RECOMMENDED PROCEDURES FOR TREATING STAINS
• Damage caused by abrasion or scratches is irreversible, but can sometimes be masked by applying lemon oil or self stripping waxes, such as Pledge® or Plexus®
• Harsh chemicals can lighten the color of laminate permanently, but the damage can sometimes be masked by applying lemon oil or self stripping waxes, such as Pledge® or Plexus®
• Harsh staining agents may be permanent, but the visual effect can usually be lessened by applying a mild household cleaner, or by using a small amount of baking soda and water and then wiping up. DO NOT scrub the area with baking soda as it is slightly abrasive.
• Paints, glues, and other adhesive materials can be removed with solvents like denatured alcohol, paint thinner, lacquer thinner, or acetone (fingernail polish remover). CAUTION: Some solvents are extremely flammable; follow all warnings on the
solvent container.

Cleanroom Laminate

Cleanroom laminate options from BenchPro consist of the same Formica material as the Standard laminate options, but Cleanroom tables have laminate sealing all six sides of the worksurface, unlike the Standard, which has a paper-based sealing on the underside.

Cleanroom laminate tables are approved for Class 100 cleanroom use. A class 100 cleanroom maintains less than one hundred particles larger than 0.5 microns in each cubic foot of air space. It is equivalent to ISO class 5 cleanroom.

Cleanroom laminate should be cleaned according to Class standards, in general use isopropyl alcohol and a soft non-particulating wiper to clean.

ESD Laminate

BenchPro offers two types of ESD laminate, Nevamar™ and LisStat™. Both have excellent ESD properties and will perform to standards for a long time, with proper care. BenchPro ESD workbenches are sealed on five sides with your chosen laminate, the sixth and bottom side is sealed with a foil material.

Nevamar Static Dissipative laminate meets or surpasses all standards for electrical properties, even at low humidity levels. Nevamar laminate practically eliminates surface shedding, reducing it to one-tenth that of conventional laminates while providing long-term resistance to abrasion.

LisStat is BenchPro’s in-house brand of ESD laminate, making it a more affordable choice for creating an ESD workstation. LisStat is made to the same specifications as Nevamar laminate, and passes all the same tests. LisStat laminate has also been proven to have excellent surface abrasion resistance. BenchPro is confident in their brand and its performance and has been using LisStat for 10 years.

To clean Nevamar or LisStat laminate, use an ammoniated detergent and a non-abrasive cloth or sponge. Rinse with clear water. Do not use wax or other coatings since they may modify the electrical properties of the laminate.

Chemical Resistant Laminate

Nevamar ChemArmor has been tested and proven to have superior chemical resistance and significantly higher NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) wear value than competitive laminates. ChemArmor provides resistance to acids/bases, solvents, stains, indicators, and general reagents.

ChemArmor continues to look good even in the harshest environments, making it an ideal choice for use in laboratories, healthcare facilities, schools, manufacturing plants, and more.

BenchPro tables made with Chemical Resistant laminate are sealed on five sides with ChemArmor laminate, while the sixth and bottom side is sealed with heavy-duty paper backing.

To clean ChemArmor laminate, use a mild detergent and damp cloth or sponge. Difficult stains may require the use of organic solvents such as alcohol, acetone, ketone, (MEK), lacquer thinner or paint solvent.

Abrasion Resistant Laminate

Nevamar Abrasion Resistant laminates have a better wear value to them over other laminates.

The Abrasion Resistant laminate retain their color clarity and “brand new” appearance for longer than any other type of laminate BenchPro offers. This is due to their hard aluminum oxide coating which reduces or eliminates most scratches and/or wear.

Abrasion Resistant laminated worksurfaces have laminate on five sides, while the sixth and bottom side is sealed with a heavy-duty paper backing.

Cleaning Abrasion Resistant laminate is easy, follow the same instructions as Chemical Resistant,  use a mild detergent and damp cloth or sponge. Difficult stains may require the use of organic solvents such as alcohol, acetone, ketone, (MEK), lacquer thinner or paint solvent.

Non-Laminate Surfaces

Maple Butcher Block

BenchPro makes their Butcher Block surfaces out of solid strips of maple hardwood. To prevent warping or splitting, the wood is dried in a low-heat atmosphere for almost one year before being cut into strips and glued edge-to-edge. These strips vary in width so that some strips are single width while others are double wide. This gives the surfaces added strength while reducing the possibility of the top splitting along its seams.

The surface finish we offer on our website is an oiled finish (contact us of you are interested in a lacquered finish). Wood is naturally a very porous material, and will absorb liquids readily. To prevent your worksurface from absorbing liquids, and to help keep it sanitary, maintaining the oiled surface is recommended.

To oil your butcher block surface follow these instructions:

  1. Make sure your surface is clean and dry.
  2. Warm mineral oil to body temperature (this thins the oil and makes it easier to spread) Place the bottle of oil in a bowl of hot water.
  3. Place a few tablespoons worth of mineral oil in the center of the surface and use a soft cloth to spread it over the wood. Work in the direction of the grain, not across it.
  4. Wait at least an hour, then check to see if the wood has absorbed the oil by wiping a paper towel across the surface. If no oil shows up on the paper towel, is has been absorbed, if oil shows up, let sit for another 30-40 minutes and check again.
  5. Once oil is absorbed, apply another layer and again let sit for an hour. (repeat until the wood can’t absorb any more oil)
  6. Once the wood has absorbed all it can, and only a slight film of oil is left, wipe the surface dry with a soft cloth.
  7. Oil the tabletop as often as needed to maintain appearance and help prevent liquid from being absorbed. Once a month is recommended.

Day to day cleaning of butcher block surfaces is basically the same as caring for laminates, mild soap and soft cloth, rinse clean with clear water. Excessive water should be avoided and water should not be allowed to stand on the surface.

If using a butcher block worksurface in a kitchen/food service setting, raw meats should not be cut or processed directly on the wood to prevent contamination.

Wrapped Stainless Steel

BenchPro offers a more affordable alternative to solid stainless steel tables. Instead of a solid stainless steel, BenchPro takes 18 gauge rolled stainless steel sheets and wraps it around a solid particleboard core.

These tables have the durability and affordability of  a well made BenchPro table, and the professional, clean look of stainless steel.

These wrapped tables are NOT appropriate for all industries that use stainless steel, most notably these tables should not be used in food service, drug preparation, or cleanrooms. Please contact PAC if you need a stainless steel table for use in areas related to food, pharmaceuticals, or cleanrooms. You can also learn more about stainless steel in our last blog post.

Stainless steel is easy to clean, mild soap, glass cleaner, or stainless steel cleaner with a soft cloth will keep your table bright and polished.

Phenolic Resin

Phenolic resin is a heat-cured plastic formed from a reaction of a carbon-based alcohol and a chemical called aldehyde. The resin is hard, heat-resistant, and can be mixed with a wide range of materials for industrial or residential use.

We did a blog post a few months back about Phenolic resin in laboratories, follow the link if you would like more details about the types of Phenolic options we have.

In an environment where hygiene is a must, Phenolic provides the best choice. Its worksurface is absolutely impervious to most materials used in biochemical and medical laboratories: radio-isotopes, human tissue and blood samples or bacteria. Biological or clinical test results are dependent on non-contamination. Phenolic resin provides a surface impermeable to most bacteria, molds or microorganisms. Resistant to dyes and organic, Phenolic surfaces are water resistant and easy to clean and disinfect.

We offer Phenolic tables in either black (most common) or white (from BenchPro).

Galvanneal

Galvanneal is a steel and zinc material, and because of the high zinc content these surfaces are extremely resistant to rusting. Galvanneal is not the prettiest surface, unpainted it can contain streaks and occasional marks but it is recommended for its durability and rust-resistance, and not its appearance.

Need a workbench in an auto shop or industrial workshop? Galvanneal is an excellent option for you. Hobbyist or retail workshop? You might want to look at stainless steel or stainless steel wrapped options instead.

Galvanneal can be purchased raw or powder-coat painted. Powder-coating does mask the appearance of the less attractive material, but depending on the usage, the paint can scratch and make the surface look even less attractive.

Summary

No matter what industry you work in, or what type of materials you deal with, BenchPro has a solution for your workstation needs.

Available in a wide range of sizes, styles, colors, and surfaces, we know it can be a bit intimidating figuring out which table would work best for you, that is why we have created a Request for Quote form. We want our customers to feel well informed and trust that they are getting exactly what they need to be successful.

If at any time in your decision making process you feel you need advice or assistance, Production Automation is there for you! Call us at 888-903-0333 or email us at [email protected], or use the Request Quote link above and one of our knowledgeable sales staff will guide you through the decision making and ordering process.

View all BenchPro tables, surfaces, and accessories here.