Excessive waste heat generated by equipment within a cabinet is the single most important factor effecting equipment performance, reliability and failure. As electronic and power components are designed into denser, smaller packages, it becomes increasingly important to consider how well how well the equipment dissipates heat. For example, a processor chip may be cooled using a heat sink (conduction) that includes a fan (forced convection).
While many different attributes will affect an enclosure's performance, selecting the correct enclosure material is a key element in ensuring a long enclosure life. The following tips will assist in your determining the correct enclosure material for the application at hand.
Choosing the Right Outdoor Weatherproof Enclosure Twenty or so years ago, specifying an enclosure involved ordering the correct size gray box, installing the electronic equipment and crossing your fingers in hopes that the box you ordered will do what it’s supposed to. Today, there are multiple types of enclosures made of various materials and with multiple ratings so it’s hard to know which enclosure will be the most durable, least expensive and will continue doing its job.
The NEMA rating system was created by the United States National Electrical Manufacturers Association and rates the degree of protection against corrosion, gasket aging and construction practices against designated environmental conditions. In our case, we’re referring to NEMA ratings for outdoor aluminum enclosures intended to be used for DVR’s, PoE network switches, CCTV fiber modems and more. Anything above a 4 (4, 4X) is for fully submersible applications such as in a marine environment, or hazardous materials such as at a Government or Nuclear facility.