Electrical boxes and enclosures come in different sizes and configurations, which necessitates user familiarization. Many technical factors determine the ideal box for a given application. Depending on the intended application, you need to take into account functional aspects like internal temperature control, material properties and shielding. A well-chosen box provides a safe and reliable housing for mount switches, knobs and displays.
Some enclosures are not only designed to fulfill utilitarian requirements, but also to provide esthetic appeal. The design and construction must adhere to strict guidelines to ensure safety.
Electrical enclosures are made of different types of materials that influence their structural properties and range of suitable applications. These include processed wood, plastic, fiberglass, stainless steel, aluminum, natural wood and carbon steel.
Manufacturers employ several fabrication methods for metals, such as cold rolling, galvanizing and hot rolling. Punched openings or knockouts enable easy fitting of conduits, connectors and cables. The application environment has a bearing on the choice of material. This is in addition to other physical properties that combine to create a robust structure.
The presence of corrosive agents calls for the use of materials that perform well in certain environments. Aluminum resists corrosion by forming a layer of oxide. For this reason, Electricity Companies NZ take appropriate measures to prevent corrosion.
Enclosure selection considerations
You need to consider intended applications ahead of environmental and material considerations. The review should cover issues, such as mounting and the need for a disconnect. Many electrical boxes and enclosures provide useful information about recommended applications. You should take into account several factors when selecting the appropriate size. These include service connections, climate control configurations, internal components dimensions, economics and aesthetics.
It is vital to pick a box with an ideal rating for the target environment and application. Proper evaluation of thermal management considerations helps improve the durability and performance of electrical components. Environments with high temperatures require sufficient heat dissipation mechanisms. On the other hand, colder temperatures call for heat generation capacity.
In some cases, security is a key aspect that demands physical features capable of preventing unauthorized or accidental operation. Hinges, locks, latches and hardened structural properties play a crucial role in this regard.
Additional considerations include enclosure weight load capacity, sunlight or UV resistance, flammability and impact resistance. Depending on safety factors, weight load capacity determines the right amount of maximum weight for a given enclosure size. Exterior surface roughening normally caused by UV exposure should not affect internal components, but it dictates choice of material. The ideal box has the capacity to withstand the impact of falling debris or objects.