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Category Archives: NEMA rated enclosure
One of the most consistent questions that Bud Industries receives deals with the best materials for a NEMA or IP rated enclosure. Bud provides Nema and IP rated boxes in almost every material including steel, stainless steel, abs plastic, polycarbonate, fiberglass and die cast aluminum. In the last few years, we have added an interesting combination of polycarbonate and fiberglass (10%) that is becoming increasingly popular for many good reasons. This combination offers many advantages over both polycarbonate and traditional fiberglass materials when utilized for electronic enclosures.
Fiberglass is typically stronger than polycarbonate but because of the glass fibers it can crack upon impact. Polycarbonate is much less likely to crack. By adding a relatively small amount of glass fibers, the enclosure gains significant strength but still is basically crack resistant. This makes this product especially useful in a factory or other environment where the box may be more likely to receive impacts from other materials or equipment.
A question that we get all the time is what is the difference between a NEMA rated enclosure and an IP rated enclosure. First, a quick explanation of the two systems. NEMA, developed by the National Electrical Manufacturing Association, is used mostly in the US and sets forth an approach that rates the enclosure by its ability to protect the internal components from flying particles and also various types of liquids, both indoor and outdoor. IP, created by the International Electrotechnical Commission, is typically used outside the US and uses a two digit system where the first digit has increasing levels of protection against particles and the second does the same with liquids. Neither group performs tests nor do they certify that products meet these standards but the manufacturer must utilize a testing group, such as UL for NEMA and TUV for IP.
Below are charts that help explain the different systems much better than a blog can typically do. The first is for NEMA.
The second is for IP ratings
And the final one compares the two:
For all of your NEMA rated enclosure and IP rated enclosure questions and to see a broad line of products, be sure to contact Bud industries.