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The ultimate guide to NEMA Enclosure types (NEMA 4) – part 3

What Does NEMA 4 Mean?

Additionally, NEMA 4 enclosures must pass a water tightness test and be able to withstand high-pressure water jets without allowing water to penetrate the enclosure. They are also required to provide protection against ingress of solid foreign objects, such as dust and dirt, making them suitable for harsh outdoor environments.

NEMA 4 enclosures are commonly used in industries such as telecommunications, oil and gas, marine, and food processing, where equipment needs to be protected from water, dust, and other contaminants. They are often made of durable materials such as stainless steel or non-metallic materials like polycarbonate or fiberglass.

Overall, NEMA 4 enclosures provide a higher level of protection and durability compared to NEMA 3 enclosures, making them suitable for demanding outdoor applications.

How Is a NEMA 4 Rating Determined?

Correct, for an enclosure to obtain a NEMA 4 rating, it must meet all the requirements of a NEMA 3 enclosure, which includes protection against dust, rain, sleet, and external ice formation. In addition, a NEMA 4 enclosure must be able to withstand the water spray test described, where it is subjected to a high-pressure water stream for a specific duration from a certain distance. The enclosure is considered to pass the NEMA 4 rating test if it does not allow any water penetration. This ensures that the enclosure offers a high level of protection against water ingress.

Types of NEMA 4 Ratings

Unlike the NEMA 3 rating system, NEMA 4 ratings have just one subgroup: NEMA 4X. Like the ‘X’ on some NEMA 3 subgroups, the ‘X‘ means the enclosure is resistant to corrosion.

The NEMA 4 rating is specifically designed for outdoor use and offers protection against weather conditions such as rain, snow, and ice. The NEMA 4X subgroup, on the other hand, provides all the benefits of NEMA 4 but also includes additional resistance to corrosion.

Corrosion can occur when metal components are exposed to moisture and certain chemicals over time, causing them to degrade and potentially malfunction. The NEMA 4X rating ensures that the enclosure is not only protected from the elements but also from corrosive substances.

The ‘X’ designation in the NEMA ratings is commonly used to indicate extra features or capabilities. In the case of NEMA 4X, it signifies the enhanced corrosion resistance provided by the enclosure. This makes NEMA 4X enclosures suitable for harsh environments where there may be exposure to corrosive substances such as saltwater, chemicals, or industrial pollutants.

Examples of applications where NEMA 4X enclosures are commonly used include outdoor electrical equipment, water treatment facilities, marine environments, food processing plants, and chemical processing facilities.

NEMA 3 vs. NEMA 4 Enclosures

When it comes to choosing between a NEMA 3 and NEMA 4 enclosure, it really depends on the application and environment. A NEMA 3 enclosure is typically going to be less expensive, but it also isn’t going to offer the same level of protection as a NEMA 4 enclosure.

NEMA 3 enclosures are designed for indoor use and provide basic protection against dust, dirt, and water. They’re not meant for use in harsh or wet environments. NEMA 4 enclosures, on the other hand, are designed for both indoor and outdoor use. They provide protection against dust, dirt, water, and corrosive materials.

If you’re not sure which type of enclosure is right for your application, it’s always best to consult with an expert. They can help you choose the right enclosure based on the specific needs of your application.

Both NEMA 3 and NEMA 4 enclosures may be available with custom powder coating.

APX Enclosures is the place to go for your NEMA outdoor enclosure cabinets. Over 20 years we have provided customers across the United States with high-quality, custom-made cabinets designed to meet their needs.

Contact APX Enclosures today through our online contact form for more information or to order your NEMA enclosures. Our enclosures are made in the USA.


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