I am often asked questions about Bud’s Fiberglass enclosure line, the NF and NFL series as engineers try to understand the differences between various types of plastic enclosures as well as why one uses plastic instead of stainless or galvanized steel. Choosing the best material for an application can be a challenging process, but selecting a fiberglass enclosure has many advantages.
- They are lightweight which, compared to steel, makes installation much simpler. Our NF series box sized at 14 x 15 x 8 weighs only 6 pounds (excluding the internal steel panel) while a stainless steel box of the same is weights nearly 20 pounds. Lifting them to install on the side of a wall or piece of equipment is a simple process compared to the manipulations required of a steel box
- They have great impact resistance. Unlike steel, the box will be impervious to dents and other typical stresses that occurs either outdoors or in a factory environment.
- A fiberglass enclosure is much more consistent in size than a polycarbonate box. The nature of the glass fibers significantly reduces any shrinkage in the molding and un-molding process. This is important when mounting components into the box as it can be difficult to deal with draft angles and slight size variations and still maintain the proper location of the internal components.
- They are priced significantly lower than stainless steel, yet provide even better resistance to corrosion. They are perfect for applications that range from Aerospace to food, industrial controls to outdoor electrical.
Bud’s NF (seals with screws) and NFL (seals with latches) series also come with a stainless steel panel that allows the user to mount equipment without having to drill into the surface of the enclosure and therefore avoid the gasketing required to maintain the NEMA and IP ratings. With ratings of NEMA 1, 2, 4, 4x, 12 and 13 and IP65, they provide great protection at a great price point. Fiberglass enclosures continue to be a fast growing part of the protected enclosure industry and our NF and NFL. Check out our video for even more information.