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Choosing the Right Electrical Enclosure for Your Business
There are plenty of types of electrical enclosure boxes in the market, so it may be difficult to find the right one. Electrical enclosures boxes come in various configurations and sizes. If you are trying to find one quickly, the options may be overwhelming. The process of finding the right electrical enclosure(s) does not need to be difficult if you have the right information. The following tips should help you make the right choice.
The Electrical Enclosure Box Material
Electrical enclosure boxes may be made from various materials including stainless steel, fiberglass, and carbon steel. The material you choose should match your needs. If your electrical enclosure is meant to be used in areas that are exposed to harsh chemicals, the right materials are stainless steel and fiberglass. Stainless steel is a wonderful material, and it can be cleaned with abrasives and fluid from a hose.
ABS plastic is a shiny, amplifiable material that is resistant to harsh chemicals such as concentrated acids and alkalis. It is degradable with acetone.
Fiberglass is available in a variety of fun colors. It is highly resistant to chemicals and moisture and it offers you excellent dimensional stability. It, however, has low impact resistance and it can be costly.
Polycarbonate plastic has high-impact resistance and dimensional stability. It is fairly resistant to strong acids, and it has impressive UV stability. It however cannot withstand strong organic solvents.
PVC plastic has excellent insulation. Its life cycle is long, and it is fire safe. The material has a high-impact resistance, degradation resistance, and durability. It is a popular choice because it is very easy to customize, however the material has a low thermal capacity.
The right material for your electrical enclosure box is one that is non-toxic, corrosion-resistant, and strong. It should be suitable for outdoor use. If you intend to use the box in a mild environment, carbon steel may be a good option especially if it has a protective finish.
Stainless steel is the most popular and beneficial choice of material for consumers looking for every advantage to protect sensitive equipment. The resistance to corrosion and extreme temperatures make it the ideal companion for your important components. With WTE’s ability to configure to your standards, stainless steel makes your enclosure a foolproof protective cover while remaining aesthetically pleasing to its surroundings.
How much security do you require for your electrical enclosure? Some latches are made more secure than others. Latching mechanisms include padlock, twist turn latches, and key locking. Choose an electrical box enclosure that provides you with the security you need. For example, if you will need to get components from the enclosure regularly, consider buying one whose lock system is easily accessible.
Consider buying an electrical enclosure box with the right ratings. NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) rating is one of the top ratings to look out for. NEMA has different categories for different electrical enclosure boxes. The categories are based on your enclosure’s ability to keep liquids and corrosive chemicals away.
Understanding the ratings of different enclosures is important as it helps you determine the amount of protection you need and the amount that you can get from every enclosure. The settings are standard all across the country, so you will always know what is considered hazardous or non-hazardous.
Electrical enclosures come with various accessories. Think about accessories that may help your enclosure box address your specific needs. Some of the accessories available at WTE for your enclosures are:
- Inner doors
- Lifting rings
- Door stops
- Insulation studs
- Light bars
Some considerations would be whether your window kits allow visibility, carrying handles, and cord grips. Think about thermal management. If your box has a circulating fan, it may extend the life of your electronics for a long time.
Think about the environment where you intend to use the electrical box enclosure before making your choice. Think about the common threats in your environment, and prepare to address them. Some of the most important questions to ask include:
- How extreme do the temperature and humidity get?
- What are some of the most prevalent environmental conditions?
- What is the biggest environmental concern?
Having answers to those questions will help you make the right choice.
Size is one of the most important things to consider when choosing an enclosure. Think about what the enclosure will be holding and where you intend to mount it. West Tool Enclosures offers standard sizes, and we can customize your enclosure to any size you require.
Thermal Management Needs
What are your thermal management requirements? The right electrical enclosure box should be able to manage the buildup of heat which comes from the electrical components. If it is unable to do that, it may affect the longevity of your products. Plan for thermal management solutions to keep the temperature just right for proper functioning.
- Natural convectional cooling
- Heat exchangers
- Air conditioners
Market applications to consider include repair shops, water treatment plants, and pools. The type of enclosure you choose should match the needs of your application. Think about the physical requirements of your application, and prepare to address them.
Finding the right electric enclosure box for your needs does not need to be difficult. You simply need to know what you want before you can go out looking for it. If you do not choose the right enclosure for your needs, it may fail and thereby damage whatever is inside. Taking time to research the right enclosure may seem like a daunting task, but it saves you time and money in the long run.
When you find the right enclosure for your needs, you need to ensure that it is installed safely. Some safety tips include the following.
Choose an Enclosure with the Right Ratings
If your application demands you to use enclosures with specific ratings, always double-check to ensure that you have the right ratings. Ensure that your manufacturer’s NEMA rating is sufficient.
Get a Quote for Modifications
Always ask your manufacturer to give you a quote. It is not easy to find an enclosure that can be used as is. Most of them require you to add slots for input and output. You may need to make some alterations to make your electrical enclosure box usable. It is not a good idea to punch random holes in the box. If you get the wrong size or drill speed, it may cause cracks on the box.
Beware of Weight Limits
Always check to ensure that your enclosure can handle the weight limits of your equipment. If the equipment is too heavy, the integrity of your box may be compromised. Always verify the characteristics of your equipment before settling for an enclosure. This is especially important in smaller enclosures. Loading more than your box can handle does not only reduce the lifespan of your box, but it also compromises the security of your installation.
Always Check the Material
If your enclosure is made from the wrong material, it may compromise your safety. Different materials are made for different purposes. Each one has qualities that give it an advantage over others. If you choose a material that is not appropriate for your application type, you could cause serious accidents. For example, if you intend to use it in an application with harsh chemicals, you need to choose materials that are resistant to the chemicals. Consider the weight of the material, its strength, and durability. If you are hard-pressed on your decision of what material to use, go with stainless-steel as it is the overall best option for pretty much all enclosures.
Enclosures are considered to be low-tech purchases so many people do not pay them much thought. Unfortunately, buying the wrong electrical enclosure box could lead to serious risks. Some preparation and research may help to avert them.