Table saw fence – Most radial arm saws are made with a metal base that is attach to a top table. Or surface to slide the wood through during cutting. The saw blades will often cut into the top of the board. So the surface of the saw should be make of a material that will not ruin your saw blades . Or splinter when cutting. There are several options for a table that will work safely and effectively.
Using an even harder surface for the table saw fence top is a good idea as it is not that difficult to dull your saw blades. Hardboard or Masonite (wood chips ruined in long fibers that are form and press into strong boards) can work very well for this purpose. Another option is to mount the saw arm in the middle of a 16 foot tool or workbench. The Bench is usually make of a sturdy wood and should provide a nice surface. The only disadvantage to this would be the space you occupy in your workbench may interfere with other projects.
Medium density plastic or a melamine laminate can provide a suitable surface for cutting with the radial saw of the arm. Remember, you want a durable semi-hard surface that will not tarnish your saw or splinter during cutting. It is inevitable that the table saw fence will have to be replace periodically. And the frequency depends on how much your saw is use.