Polycarbonate Enclosures 101: A Guide for Specifiers

Polycarbonate Enclosures Engineered to Meet Your IP Needs

Drive down any street in the country and you’ll likely see a steel enclosure housing electrical components. What you may not see is the subtle deterioration that begins almost immediately as the processed metal begins to break down to its original state as ore. This fundamental tendency to corrode is just one reason that businesses ranging from electrical construction, HVAC, telecommunication, utility – even car washes – should consider high-performing polycarbonate enclosures. Discovered in 1953, polycarbonate is a polymer strong enough to withstand a bullet, and strength is just one of its advantages. Weighing less than both steel and fiberglass (FRP), most polycarbonate enclosures allow for easy, one-person installation.

What to look for when specifying ingress protection (IP) enclosures

  • UV Stability – Steel and FRP enclosures generally require additional treatment and upkeep – such as painting – to maintain UV stability. UL-rated F1 polycarbonate enclosures have been tested to withstand exposure to sunlight and water, as well as water immersion, flammability, mechanical impact and mechanical strength.
  • Durability and Impact Resistance – Polycarbonate enclosures offer more than double the impact resistance of FRP. Based on UL 746C testing, polycarbonate enclosures withstand impacts of 500- to 900-inch pounds.
  • Chemical Resistance – The chemical resistance of steel, FRP and polycarbonate enclosures varies. Before specifying an enclosure, check our chemical resistance chart and conduct tests of the enclosure materials based on potential chemical exposure based on your particular application.
  • Design Flexibility and Machinability – Injection-molded polycarbonate enclosures enable you to integrate needed features – such as mounting rails – into the design. And unlike FRP, polycarbonate can be machined without concerns about dangerous airborne fibers.

When it comes to ingress protection (IP), Integra’s NEMA polycarbonate enclosures offer important advantages for a variety of applications. Before specifying your next IP enclosure, review NEMA enclosure types or contact Integra for details on cost-effective polycarbonate enclosures for construction, telecommunication, utility and other industries.

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