Electrical enclosures are an essential component of industrial processes as they provide safety and consistency for running electricity. While designing facilities or systems for these processes, the selection of electrical enclosures is often overlooked. However, choosing the right material for these enclosures is crucial to optimize their properties, reducing costs, and providing adequate protection to electrical components.
Electrical enclosures can be made from various materials, but metal, fiberglass, and polycarbonate are the most commonly used. The material selection depends on the specific use case, and each material has its unique properties.
Metal enclosures, usually made of steel or aluminum, are suitable for outdoor use, especially when building codes require metal. However, metal enclosures can cause unintentional grounding, which may be hazardous. Metal electrical enclosures are also heavy and require special tools to modify in the field.
An alternative to the traditional metal enclosures is fiberglass. Fiberglass is an electrical insulator, which makes it an ideal choice for preventing unwanted grounding and ensuring stability. Fiberglass enclosures are well suited for outdoor applications and our latest chemical formulation prevents discoloration and fiber bloom. Fiberglass enclosures don’t require special tooling to modify in the field, tend to be less expensive than metal, and are light weight. All benefits to speeding up the installation process.
Another alternative to metal and fiberglass is a polycarbonate enclosure. Polycarbonate enclosures are made to withstand mild chemicals and wet conditions which makes them perfect for waste water plants or car washes. Like fiberglass the polycarbonate material is easy to modify in the field and lightweight, making it easy to install.
In conclusion, optimizing electrical enclosures by selecting the right material is essential for safety and consistency in industrial processes. While metal enclosures have been the most common enclosures used for industrial applications, more and more contractors are starting to transition to fiberglass and polycarbonate alternatives.