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.
On the flip side, polycarbonate tends to have some shrinkage as it is removed from the molds. This shrinkage can vary due to a variety of reasons providing minor dimensional variation. This variation can be important when drilling holes or slots in the box as the slight inconsistencies can impact the ability to properly locate the internal equipment or whatever is being mounted in those holes. By adding the 10% glass fibers, the product maintains its dimensions much more closely upon removal from the molds significantly reducing any challenges with consistently installing (and protecting) equipment.
This material also maintains strong UV protection and can also be readily modified without as much concern about the released glass fibers. All in all, this composite material is the perfect combination that allows for added strength and consistency without the typical concerns of damage. To see Bud’s complete offering, check out our PTQ, PTS, PTH, PTK and PTT series of products a www.budind.com.