glossary | lab furniture terms, phrases & acronyms

Have you ever found yourself asking, "What the heck is CAV"?  Or perhaps you have wondered aloud about the differences between drop-in and undermount sink applications?  Worry no more about what you don't know - and focus your attention here.  Immerse yourself and find a wide array of answers about LAB FURNITURE SYSTEMS, Casework, Fume Hoods & Accessories.

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Acceptance Levels —  Acceptance levels describe the expected outcome of each individual test procedure

ADA — Americans with Disabilities Act

ADAG — Americans with Disabilities Act Guidelines

Air Foil — Streamlined member at the hood opening designed to improve air flow into the hood

Air Volume — Rate of air flow, expressed in cubic feet per minute (CFM) or feet per minute (fpm)

ASHRAE — American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers, a professional group that sets industry accepted standards for fume hood testing procedures

ANSI/BIFMA - ANSI is the American National Standards Institute. Approval of an American National Standard requires verification by ANSI that the requirements for due process, consensus, and other criteria for approval have been met by the standards developer. BIFMA is the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association, an association of manufacturers of desk products and the like

Apparatus - A machine or group of machines and accessories

Arithmetic Mean - A number obtained by dividing the sum of a set of quantities by the number of quantities in a set; average.

ASTM - American Society for Testing and Materials

Auxiliary Air — Supply or make-up air administered externally to the front of the hood to reduce room air consumption

Baffle — Panels located in front of the hoods interior back panel that control the pattern of the air moving through the hood

Base Cabinets - A base cabinet is a storage devise consisting of two ends, a back, and a face. The face may be open, to access the storage area, or may be outfitted with one or more drawers and/or door(s).  The base cabinet may or may not include a top. A base cabinet is always mounted on the floor and normally supports a surface. The top surface is normally no more than 42'' (1,066.8mm) off the floor surface

Bench-Type — Type of fume hood designed to rest atop a pedestal or base cabinets

Best Practices - When given a choice of grade, the "best practice'' is to select one that offers a well defined degree of over the quality of workmanship, materials and installation of a project. SEFA-8 Recommended Practices are written from a view of high quality laboratory furniture

Blower — Air moving device (fan) consisting of motor, impeller and scroll

Bypass — Compensating opening that allows for unobstructed airflow that helps maintain constant volume exhaust from fume hood, regardless of sash position

Cabinet Depth (Deep) - Given a front, bottom, two sides, and a top, the cabinet depth is a measure of the side of the cabinet, in it's normal upright position from the back to the front

Cabinet Height (High) - Given a front, bottom: two sides, and a top, the cabinet height is a measure of the side of the cabinet, in it's normal upright position, from the bottom to the top, excluding any additional surface

Cabinet Width (Wide) - Given a front, bottom, two sides, and a top, the cabinet width is a measure of the front of the cabinet in it's normal upright position from one side to the other

Canopy Hood — Ventilating device typically suspended from the ceiling used to dissipate heat, water vapor, odors, etc.

Casework - Base and wall cabinets, display fixtures, and storage shelves. The generic term for both "boxes" and special desks, reception counters, nurses stations and the like. Generally includes the tops and work surfaces

CFM — Cubic Feet per Minute: unit of air volume measurement

Chase (Plumbing Area) - Space located behind the back of the base cabinet used to house plumbing or electric lines

Cold Rolled Steel - Sometimes referred to as Cold Drawn. Cold Drawn is the process of cold forming steel parts wherein plastic flow occurs over a curved axis

Combination Sash — Horizontal sliding safety glass panels in a vertically rising frame

Composition Core - A core material using particle board

Constant Volume — Type of fume hood exhaust system that exhausts the same volume of air regardless of the sashes position. Also referred to as Constant Air Volume or CAV

Containment — Function of fume hood to control fumes within the hoods interior compartment

Counter Mounted Cabinet - A counter mounted cabinet is a wall cabinet that is typically mounted on  top of the work surface or shelf to be used as a reagent shelf. A counter mounted cabinet is usually has a height of approximately 48” (1,219.2mm).

Cupboard (Door Unit) - That portion of the cabinet with no drawer(s) and may be enclosed by door(s)

Combination Unit -  A base unit of type that has both door(s) and drawer(s)

Drawer - A sliding storage box or receptacle opened by pulling out and closed by pushing in

Damper — A device installed within the duct to control the volume of air passing through

Demonstration Hood — Fume hood accessible from two sides with a viewing window in one end used for demonstration purposes - typically in a teaching environment such as a university lab

Duct — Round, square, or rectangular tube used to encapsulate air

Duct Velocity — Speed of air moving through the duct, measured in (FPM)

Exhaust Collar — Place where the exhaust duct connects to the fume hood and passage for all exhausted air from hood

Exhaust Volume — The quantity of air exhausted by the fume hood; the volume of air passing through the duct measured in CFM to maintain a determined face velocity


Face Velocity — Speed of air moving into fume hood through the hoods face opening (sash), measured in (FPM)

Free Standing - Requiring no support or fastening to other structures

FPM — Feet Per Minute; measurement of air velocity

Fume Hood — Five sided ventilated enclosure used in laboratories to control, collect, and exhaust contaminants

Hardware - Manufactured articles used in producing cabinets. Such articles include items such as screws, pulls, hinges, and drawer slides

High Density Shielding - A barrier made of lead

High Pressure Laminate - Laminated thermosetting decorative sheets for lamination to a selected core for panel, shelf and top constructions. (See NEMA LD-3, latest edition)

Joinery - The junction of two pieces shape intended to be permanently connected

Laboratory Furniture -Furniture designed and manufactured for installation and used in a laboratory

Laminate - A product made by bonding together two or more layers (laminations) of material or materials

Latch - A piece of hardware designed to hold a door closed

Leveling Screws (Levelers) - Threaded components designed to allow adjustment of the cabinet vertically as needed for leveling

Liner — Fume hood interior sides, back, top, lintel, and baffles

Lintel — Portion of fume hood front located above the hoods face opening (sash)

Louvers — Slit-like openings punched into hoods front panels

Magnehelic — Type of gauge suitable for measuring low air pressure

Manometer — Measures air pressure differential

Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) - Wood particles reduced to fibers in a moderate pressure steam vessel combined with a resin, and bonded together under heat and pressure

NFPA — National Fire Protection Association

Nominal Dimensions - Not all cabinet manufacturers produce product to the identical dimensions. All dimensions given in this document are accurate to within five percent, which is considered nominal

Particleboard - A generic term for a panel manufactured from lignocellulosic materials -commonly wood -essentially in the form of particles (as distinct from fibers). These materials are bonded together with synthetic resin or other suitable binder, under heat and pressure, by a process wherein the interparticle bonds are created wholly by added binder.

Permanent Damage - Destruction to material or joinery that would require repair in order to return to its original state

Permanent Deformation - Deflection that has exceeded the plastic limit, thus changing the original shape of the product

Permanent Deterioration - Erosion or corrosion of material such that the component will never return to it's original

Permanent Failure - See "permanent damage."

Pulls -Articles used to grasp the door or drawer (see also hardware)

Rack Resistance - The ability of a desk product to resist stresses that tend to make the product distort and the drawers to become misaligned.

Rail - A bar extending from one side of the cabinet to the other

Reagent - A substance used because of its chemical or biological activity

Removable Back-  A panel located on the inside back of the base cabinet which is removable in order to gain access to the plumbing area

Restricted Bypass Fume Hood — Fume hood operating type, Designed with limited bypass area; commonly used in conjunction with Variable Air Volume (VAV) exhaust systems and restricted sash openings

Sash — Sliding safety glass panel set in fume hood face that protects the fume hood operator from exposure to chemicals and fumes inside the hood

Service Fitting - Faucets and gas valves mounted to the fume hood

Shelving - A flat surface fastened horizontally to a cabinet interior or a wall used to hold objects

Stainless Steel - Iron based alloys containing more chromium than the 12% necessary to produce passivity (less reactive), but less than 30%

Static Pressure — Air pressure, or resistance, in the hood or duct, expressed in inches of water

Submersion - Covered with water

Superstructure — Portion of the fume hood supported by the base cabinets, pedestals, and the work surface or the floor

Tables - An article of furniture having a flat, horizontal surface supported by one or more support members (legs), and a frame (apron)

Tall Cabinet (Full Height Unit) - A tall cabinet is a storage devise that consists of two ends, a back, and a face. The face may be open to access the storage area or may be outfitted with one or more drawers and/or door(s). A tall cabinet is always mounted on the floor and is nominally 84" (2,133.6mm) high

Torsion - The state of being twisted

Total Pressure — The sum of velocity pressure and static pressure as measured in duct

Uniformly Distributed - The application of forces such that weight is evenly applied to the subject surface even as the surface deflects

Unobstructed Entry - A cabinet is deemed to be unobstructed if access to the entire storage area is completely without obstacle

Upright Position - A cabinet oriented in its intended position

Variable Air Volume (VAV) — Type of fume hood exhaust system that typically maintains a constant face velocity by adjusting the blower motor speed or the use of a balance damper in response to changes in the sash position

Velocity — speed of air, measured in Feet Per Minute (FPM)

Walk-In — Tall in height type of fume hood, designed for tall and large equipment and apparatus

Wall cabinet- A wall cabinet is a storage device consisting of two ends, a back, a top, bottom, and a face. The face may be open to access the storage area or may be outfitted with one or more door(s). The wall cabinet usually does not include a drawer. A wall cabinet is always mounted on a vertical surface such as a wall, a divider, panel or some other vertical structure. A wall cabinet is usually less than 48" (1,219.2mm) high

Water Gauge — Measuring device using the weight of a column of water, calibrated in inches

Welding Station — A type of modular unit designed to allow ventilation and filtration to keep the welder from inhaling fumes

Work Surface - A horizontal surface used to support apparatus at a convenient height off the floor. Work Surfaces are normally positioned atop a base cabinet, a table frame or inside a fume hood

new england lab | Glossary of Lab Furniture Terms - from Casework to Fume Hoods to Mobile Systems and Beyond
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New England Lab: Glossary of Lab Furniture Terms. We believe that educating ourselves and our clients is an important part of making sound laboratory design decisions - from Casework to Fume Hoods to Mobile Systems and Beyond.