Manchester University : New Polymer Labs

materials science lab

Polymeric materials find a huge range of applications, from traditional commodity plastics to specialist polymers used increasingly in the pharmaceutical, electronic, and nanotechnology sectors. This course provides specialist options covering the production, processing, and applications of polymeric materials, taught by research specialists in the field. The Materials Science School is the largest of its kind in Europe, it is reputed to have the highest research power level of any university materials department in the UK, with 80% of its research being rated as of internationally excellent or world leading quality.

As part of its eventual transition to the new Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD) due to be completed in 2020, the department has moved into the old Maths and Social Sciences Building which had been standing empty for some years. This meant converting some of the old maths lecture rooms into 6 modern and flexible laboratory spaces. It was important to have benches that could withstand the rigours of a materials science lab, they need to have a surface that would be rugged, heat resistant and able to support heavy pieces of equipment without damage, this led to the striking choice of traditional hardwood.

FBS were able to source 26mm Iroko composite block boards, these were mounted on heavy duty steel frames. We also supplied Trespa topped benches for the technicians labs and Laser Lab; laminate finished IPS handwash stations and various fixed and mobile storage units. The FBS part of the project comprised 4 multi-use lab areas with space for up to 40 students in each a large technicians prep room and a student breakout area. The benches are a combination of island and peninsula layout, each with provision for water, gases, vacuum, power and data all integrated into the bench tops. Toughened glass splash screens were used behind the main lab sinks. To give flexibility of workspaces most of the storage units we supplied were mobile types.


FBS completed our work on the new laboratories in the MSS Tower in August 2015.

Architect – Halliday Meecham
Main Contractor – John Turner Construction
Value – £134k


Posted on

February 24, 2016