How You Can Effectively Choose an Electronic Chassis?

The environment knows that almost everything should have protection – even against the environmental hazards. You can see it in every living creature. Turtles have shells and our brains are being protected by skulls. With this in mind, in protecting electronic devices we should derive how nature is designed.

This is also the very reason why it is very crucial to choose the right electronic chassis. This is also called an electronics enclosure. This is designed to protect some of the sensitive internal components in the electronic devices.

When it is the best time to choose the right electronic chassis for the device that you are trying to design, there are several factors that you should take into an account. In this article, we will look at the most asked questions that should guide you in creating your decision and how companies can help you outsource the enclosure your are looking for.

The Environmental Factors and NEMA/IP Rating

There are things that should be considered when choosing a good electronic enclosure. You should think about the several environmental factors that you will be facing. In the list below, it will help you decide if your chassis should need any of the specific protection or security features that will be needed to protect your equipment from certain environmental factors:

  1. Precipitation that can occur from rain, sleet, or snow
  2. Washdowns with hose-directed water or water splashing
  3. Existence of dust, stand or floating debri
  4. Corrosion that can occur from any airborne salt particles that can occur from exposure to chemicals
  5. Accidental contact through people or animals
  6. Force or great impact from any heavy equipment
  7. Temporary or prolonged submersion in water

IP or NEM ratings can determine which type of enclosures can stand up to these given environmental hazards. If you need more knowledge and understanding how these ratings work and which performance factors you will potentially need, visit their website for more information. Once you have determined what protection you want for your sensitive equipment, its time for you to choose the right material.

Choosing the Right Material

The material which your chassis will be made will determine several factors about its effectivity and performance. It is crucial for you to make the right choice. The most popular materials used to manufacture chassis are:

Stainless Steel: this metal is the most popular option for both outdoor or indoor devices. This metal has high durability and is able to effectively resist corrosion. As well as it has a very good aesthetic. However, it might be impractical for some engineering applications because of its high cost.

Aluminum: this metal is highly durable and it showcases a natural RF shielding that can come in wide variety of very attractive finishes.

Polycarbonate: this is one another great option that is very tough and it is widely available in different designs and options.

This plastic is one of the most highly-cost effective choice for an electronics enclosure. But this one is not as quite as durable and it is very suited for both outdoor and indoor electronics enclosure.

Quick tip: after choosing the right material for your enclosure, you need to also consider its form that it will be in.


How Different Types of Electronics Enclosure Can Protect Your Equipment Against Harmful Environmental Hazards?

In meeting certain NEMA requirements, the design engineer should contemplate about an enclosures’ capability to withstand harmful environmental hazards. In this article, we will discuss how can each NEMA rating can effectively protect your equipment from environmental hazards.

Sheet metal enclosures

The metal sheet electrical boxes is equipped to effectively protect your equipment from solid and water ingress that can come from floating dust, debris or hose-directed/splashing water. Primarily, metal sheet electrical enclosures are designed to be able to meet NEMA requirements for its several ratings. However, if you need the electrical enclosure to be partially or totally submersed in water (like in marine offshore applications) then this material is not the best choice for you. Below are some guidelines that you can follow:

NEMA Type 1 Electrical Boxes: It is recommended to only use two simple piece enclosure style that is covered on top of the case. In this scenario, a L, U, or extruded electrical enclosure would suffice.

NEMA Type 2 Electrical Box: We best recommend to have overlapping flanges on the open seams of the case. To fasten the seams of the enclosure, you should use tack, sport, or plug welds. This can totally depend on the severity of the environment that you are in. For any engineering application, you might require a fully welded seams. The U-shape enclosure will work at its best when it has fewer welded seams.

NEMA Type 4, 4X: At best, it is recommended to have fully welded seams when you are using gaskets for your enclosure. Gaskets is a perfect use for anything that has to do with water being near or even for water being hose directed to the case. In some of the applications of enclosure gasket, the utilization of style foam strips or full gasket piece will be enough. You should do fastener sealing as soon as you notice that there will be water in the enclosure application. Therefore, you should seal the edges with fasteners.

One of the most strategic placement of fasteners to seal the edges is that they should not be too obvious inside the case. In addition to this, you can also do the following: assembling the edges with sealing screws and utilization of latch or lack to fasten enclosure.

If you want to achieve the type 4X for electronics enclosure, you should opt for a corrosion resistant sheet metal such as stainless steel, almuminum or galvanneal in order to fully achieve this rating.

NEMA Type 5 Electronics Enclosure: The use of overlapping flanges should be utilized on open seams of the electrical box or even fully welded seams. Totally depends on the type of environment you will use the enclosure in. For this type, U-shape enclosure would work the best.

If you are looking for any enclosure that can be partially or totally submerged in water, you can do the above recommendations. The recommendations on sealing can effectively meet NEMA Types 1, 2, 4(X) and 5 respectively. In line with this, these enclosures can be completely sealed as long as the right 0-rings or gaskets are made waterproof. This should be sufficient enough to protect your equipment form prolonged submersion in water by meeting the NEMA Type 6(P) standard.

Keep the following in mind when designing this type of enclosure for water immersion:

The enclosure should be designed in a way to minimize the number of seams to seal, with fewer parts and seams; there is less chance of water entering the enclosure.

There is one tip any design engineer should keep in mind when you are designing an enclosure for submersion application: the electrical box should be designed in a structure that the seams to seal will be minimized – requiring fewer parts and seams. With this in mind, there is a lesser chance of water entering the enclosure.