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Category Archives: NEMA rated enclosure
We have often been asked to provide extra large plastic NEMA/IP rated enclosures and so we are delighted to introduce the NBG series. While much is made of the ongoing reduction in component sizes, one concept that is overlooked is that now products that used to require a many bay cabinet can now be housed in a single large unit. Moreover, when large enclosures are required, designers often think that metal is their only option. Large plastic boxes require a significant investment in both equipment and tooling, exponentially greater than that required for a smaller enclosure. However, the reduction in weight as well as the impact resistance and flexibility of plastic can make the shift in material the best option. The NBG series is made from PC+PBT(f1) material offering high strength and weather resistance and is, of course rated NEMA 4x and IP66.
Available in three sizes up to 39.5 x 27.5 x 12.3”, it comes with many helpful features including an easily removable door to assist in installation of your component. It comes with either an opaque or clear door and the hinges are made of stainless steel. The material is UV stabilized and it uses a poured gasket in the door to insure the best possible seal. This allows it to meet NEMA 4x, 12, and 13 as well as IP66 ratings. We already have customers in a variety of industries for this product from Industrial Automation to Agriculture to IoT.
One of the questions we get asked most often is how do NEMA and IP ratings compare. That is, can one find an enclosure with a NEMA rating and use it to fit a required IP rating? The quick answer is no as there are different types of tests and even different testing bodies who set these ratings. However, if your purpose is to just determine which NEMA is closest to a specific IP rating and vice versa, there are similarities. First, some definitions. Electrical enclosures are rated based on their ability to withstand a varying degree of environmental elements, including dust, water, and ice. In the United States, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association developed the NEMA rating for classifying an enclosure’s level of protection from those environmental elements. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) http://www.iec.ch/index.htm has developed an alternative rating system, the IP standard, which stands for Ingress Protection. The standard format is “IP’ followed by two numbers which designate the level of protection. The first digit, which ranges from 1-6, specifies the level of protection from solids, and the second digit, which ranges from 1-8, specifies the level of protection from water. The higher the number is, the greater the level of protection. For instance, an enclosure with a rating of IP10 would offer less protection than an enclosure that is rated at IP54.
The following table summarizes the various IP number designations:
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.