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SEFA 8 is a performance-based international standard used to assess the durability, safety and structural integrity of lab casework. The acronym SEFA is used to stand for Scientific Equipment and Furniture Association, which maintains different standards associated with laboratory furniture such as metal casework, fume hoods, installations, work surfaces and many more.

The Scientific Equipment and Furniture Association (SEFA) was started back in 1988 to meet the requirements of a crucial industry of laboratory designers and manufacturers of lab furniture. SEFA’s recommended practices for laboratory casework are laboratory grade metal casework (8M), laboratory grade phenolic casework (SEFA 8PH), laboratory grade plastic laminate casework (SEFA 8PL), laboratory grade polypropylene casework (SEFA 8P) and laboratory grade wood casework (SEFA 8W).

SEFA 8 is designed to give manufacturers and users a standard tool for testing the functionality and performance of laboratory casework. At present, SEFA 8 testing needs 3 kinds of testing to establish compliance namely:

  • Mechanical or resistance tests like loads on surfaces, cabinets, and drawers.
  • Dynamic tests like the impact of forces on drawers and doors and cycling tests on those components.
  • Work surface finish testing like exposure to a list of 49 chemicals which include acids, alkalis, solves and staining agents.

The following is a detailed guide on the SEFA 8-M tests:

  1. Total Load Test

This test is used to evaluate the strength and structural integrity of a cabinet.

  1. Concentrated Load Test

The test is used to check how doors and drawers perform when a concentrated load is placed on top of the cabinet.

  1. Torsion Load Test

This test evaluates the integrity of the cabinet’s construction under stress.

  1. Door Hinge Test

It is used to test the strength of the door hinge and connection to the cabinet. The door should be able to move freely.

  1. Door Cycle Test

The test checks the strength of the hinge and the connection to the cabinet over many years of use.

  1. Drawer Static Test

This test checks the performance of the head and drawer hardware under a point load.

  1. Drawer Impact Test

It is used to evaluate the integrity of the drawer bottom under the force of a falling load.

  1. Drawer Internal Rolling Impact Test

This test is used to check the integrity of the drawer back and the joints under the force of a falling load.

  1. Drawer Cycle Test

It is a test that evaluates the performance of a drawer and hardware over lifetime use.

  1. Chemical Resistance Test

This test is applied to lab grade casework, work surfaces as well as fixtures. 49 volatile and non-volatile chemicals are tested on the finished work surface.

Due to the fact that the Scientific Equipment and Furniture Association (SEFA) is an association, all the members have a chance to participate in the growth and monitoring of its recommended practices. SEFA’s recommended practices are valuable tools for proposal writing, making contract negotiations, installation, work processes and determining liability and responsibility. They help to promote greater understanding between members and end-users.