Tips To Use When Choosing Non-Metallic Electrical Enclosures
Non-metallic electrical enclosure is a rapidly growing option. Many technicians choose non-metallic electrical enclosures over traditional metallic covers.
When doing an installation, it is imperative to talk to the experts in the market to help you choose the best applications for your needs.
Types of non-metallic electrical enclosure materials
The most preferred non-metallic electrical enclosures in the market include;
- Fiberglass- Fiberglass is the most preferred non-metallic enclosure. It is a thermoset polyester material lined with fiberglass. It has high impact, resistance strength, and dimensional stability.
- Polycarbonate- is a high-performance resin processed through sheet extrusion and injection molding. It offers good rigidity properties and is highly resistant to extreme temperatures.
- ABS- offers high impact resistance making it the best choice for electrical enclosures. It is also rich in chemical and moisture resistance properties.
- Polyester- is processed by injection molding to produce high resistance thermal plastic.
Some of the leading advantages of using non-metallic electrical enclosures include:
- They’re cost-effective
Non-metallic electrical enclosures are more cost-effective than metallic options, such as steel and copper. Stainless steel’s prices keep increasing and changing, making it very expensive to use. Most installers have to pay a premium price for steel and related products.
On the other hand, when used for small-scale installation, non-metallic electrical enclosures are affordable. Non-metallic electrical options come at competitive prices, cutting down installation costs.
- Provides more design flexibility and suitability
Stainless steel options can be alloyed to suit various needs. On the other hand, non-metallic electrical enclosures such as fiberglass can be costumed into various grades to offer practical solutions and cost-effective alternatives. Fiberglass can also be costumed for a specific design property to meet tremendous performance.
Standard non-metallic and customized enclosures allow for designed molded-in features without compromising quality. However, metallic electrical enclosures require add-on components, mechanical devices, and stainless steel welding.
- Offers better dimensional stability
Thermal expansion is a significant element to consider during electrical installation. Fiberglass and other non-metallic electrical enclosures provide a relatively low thermal expansion coefficient than copper and stainless steel. A low thermal expansion coefficient means enhanced dimensional stability during installation. Additionally, non-metallic electrical covers provide reliable part-to-part sealing quality over non-metallic options.
- Offer corrosion resistance qualities
Fiberglass and other non-metallic enclosures offer excellent corrosion properties. They’re also chemical resistant compared to metallic electrical solutions. The resistance offered by non-metallic electrical enclosures is better than coated or galvanized steel. No maintenance is, therefore, needed with non-metallic electrical enclosures.
Stainless steel is ideal because of its corrosion-free properties. However, some environments are prone to pitting, cracking, and sulfide stress.
Fiberglass offers unmatched chemical resistance to chlorine and fluorine compounds. Non-metallic electrical enclosures, such as fiberglass, work best in acid, alkaline, and other solvents without compromising performance.
- Easy to customize
Non-metallic electrical enclosures are easier to customize and modify than metallic options. Non-metallic enclosures allow all modifications, including vents, windows, cutouts, and holes. Non-metallic covers also allow for the incorporation of accessories and other designs. This property allows for tremendous labor and other installation costs compared to modifying stainless steel.
Non-metallic electrical enclosures require minimal cutting pressure, simple tools, and DIY skills to shape and customize. However, cutting stainless steel requires special tools and skills to cut.
- Light-weight and easy to handle
Non-metallic electrical enclosures are 4 times lighter than stainless steel. Therefore, shipping non-metallic enclosures is relatively affordable and makes more business sense than stainless steel. Additionally, non-metallic options are strong and durable to weight ratio over metallic enclosures.
- Provide electrical insulation
Non-metallic electrical enclosures have dielectric strength for insulation than the conductivity qualities in metals like stainless steel and copper. Therefore, non-metallic enclosures don’t need grounding to enhance security against contact.
- Have unique aesthetic values
Non-metallic electrical enclosures have evenly-curved edges and smooth corners, making them safe to handle. It also comes in molded-in colors offering a wide variety to suit the client’s color scheme.
Fiberglass is the most preferred non-metallic electric enclosure today. It is ideal for household and industrial applications because of its reliable thermal insulation properties. It is used to make products such as roofing, boat hulls, shower curtains and electrical insulation materials.
Fiberglass is ideal for insulation purposes and lowers the spread of noise, cold, and heat in cars, aircraft, and structures. It also reduces energy bills by almost 40%, making it the standard option for households and commercial purposes.
What is a fiberglass electrical enclosure?
A fiberglass electrical enclosure is an insert used to protect cables and wires from chemical and corrosion compounds that compromise performance and longevity functions. The fiberglass enclosure is molded under extreme pressure and heat and then reinforced with resin. The formation process allows fiberglass electrical enclosures to handle hazardous properties that other materials cannot handle.
Fiberglass’ sturdy frame makes it ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. It can withstand extreme temperatures in all types of adverse weather.
Many users prefer fiberglass enclosures because of the following unique reasons;
- Freedom to explore design- fiberglass has no molding limitations. Molders can create different forms and designs using the material. The resultant product comes in durable, strong, and attractive designs that appeal to clients’ needs in the market.
- Appealing appearance- Fiberglass enclosures can assume any texture, color, and finish, making the insert a state-of-the-art insert for your cables and wires.
- Cost-effective- Fiberglass is effective and rarely affected by the production rate at the source. While metallic options rise in price, fiberglass remains affordable and easily available. Fiberglass is also cheaper to ship and store than metallic enclosures, making it a highly-sort commodity in electrical stores. It also comes with relatively cheap maintenance and installation cost.
- Special features
Fiberglass enclosures are non-conductive and resistant to radio frequency transparency. The feature makes fiberglass ideal for areas with other electronic gadgets and installations that may fail to work or cause accidents.
Non-metallic electrical enclosures are significantly gaining popularity. The most preferred option is fiberglass because it’s more cost-effective and easily available than metallic options that rely on the producing country to determine its mining and pricing.