A harsh environment can lead to severe damage to electronics and deteriorate them leading to a reduction in their efficiency. In addition, it causes loss of production, injuries to personnel, and added maintenance costs that may lead to a decrease in the number of customers.

Special electrical enclosures with NEMA ratings are preferred for use in extreme conditions. They not only provide protection to the environment but also ensure high productivity and reduced error and human intervention.

Importance of selecting a NEMA enclosure

It is essential and critical to select the right NEMA enclosure according to the application. There are various types of NEMA enclosures for indoor as well as outdoor areas. Furthermore, the surrounding environment and its properties must also be taken into consideration when selecting a NEMA enclosure. They are available to protect against dust, dirt, and all other kinds of contaminations. In addition, they are also suitable for harsh surroundings like oil drilling fields, water pipelines, and areas subjected to sand-storms.

For protection from dust and aerial particles

Almost all NEMA enclosures provide protection from dust and aerial particles. They are usually made of steel alloys. They are widely used in building construction industries, different warehouses, and industries with large scale production lines.

The cabinets have linings all over the joints and exits to prevent them from adhering to the dust and other contaminants.

For protection from the outdoor atmosphere

NEMA enclosures for outdoors typically ensure protection against water, or rain, in addition to dirt and contamination. Furthermore, effects of snow, ice, and fleet can also be avoided in such enclosures. They are usually made of aluminum and are commonly used to protect fiber connections, wireless connections, and other telecom devices.

For protection from corrosion and pipeline waters

The material used to protect from corrosion is stainless steel. This material also protects the devices for better flow in hose directed waters. They are generally used in traffic enclosures and for AC cabinets to ensure proper flow of air. Moreover, they are used to keep the equipment safe from overheating.

NEMA ratings in an enclosure correspond to different protective properties they possess. Let’s have a look at what most of the NEMA ratings mean!

NEMA 1 enclosures are rated as the most common NEMA standard. They are widely used for protecting sensors from human intervention and associated contamination. These enclosures are used in environments less susceptible to dust, oil, and water.

NEMA 2 enclosures are mostly used indoors protecting against dirt and a small amount of water.

NEMA 3/3R enclosures are typical for use outdoors. They ensure protection from harsh climatic conditions in the form of sandstorms, heavy rainfall, snow, and formation of ice. In addition to the properties of NEMA 3, NEMA 3R is equipped with a hole to drain out accumulated water.

NEMA 4/4X enclosures are the most widely used enclosures as they are gasketed and the door is clamped to provide sealing at all ends. They provide protection against streams of water thus making them suitable for machining operations where lubricants and coolants are used continuously. NEMA 4X provides an added safety against harsh environments by protecting the enclosures against corrosion. They are most widely used in pipeline and oil drilling industries.

NEMA 5 enclosures are best suited for indoor applications susceptible to airborne particles, falling dirt, water, and other non-corrosive liquids.

NEMA 6/6P enclosures are used for both indoor and outdoor environments. They provide protection against occasional water entry and are also suitable for applications involving temporary submersion at a restricted depth. NEMA 6P, however, protects against prolonged submersion.

NEMA 11 enclosures are used in applications involving oil submersion. They are corrosion resistant, thus, suitable for harsh environments like oil drilling environments.

NEMA 12 enclosures protect against falling dirt and non-corrosive liquids. They are widely used for automation control and electronic systems and their packaging, material handling, and manufacturing processes.

NEMA 13 enclosures are also mostly used indoors due to their ability to provide protection against airborne contaminants, water, oil, and other non-corrosive coolant sprayings.

A wide variety of NEMA enclosures are manufactured at Energy Technologies, Inc. (ETI). We offer NEMA 1-13 enclosures, available for use in both indoor and outdoor applications including traffic enclosures, oil and gas podiums, and other manufacturing in harsh environments.

They are electrically insulated and certified providing various configuration units like Dual Voltage system, free maintenance batteries, different criteria for UPS selection, Multiple AC selection mode.

Additionally, our NEMA products are tested and deemed suitable for harsh climatic conditions like heavy rainfall, snow, and dust storms, hazardous contaminants, dirt and dust particles, corrosive materials, and extreme industrial environments like marine, oil drilling, and building construction.

by guest writer John Hamlin