Designing a wireless device requires taking hundreds, if not thousands, of factors into consideration. However, the two basic needs you’ll have to reckon with are transmission and protection. Each is critical to a wireless device’s performance, and each must be kept in balance to various degrees depending on your application:
Balancing these needs is one of the key tasks in wireless device design. Keeping them in harmony (or failing to) can have effects that resonate across entire organizations. Those considerations are also applicable across a huge range of devices:
Polycase offers high-performance electronics enclosures in dozens of different styles and materials. But which one is right for your application? How do you find the right balance of power and protection? We’ll explore those topics below.
We offer an industry-leading range of electronics enclosures in a wide variety of materials suitable for many different applications. However, for devices that transmit wireless signals, your first major decision will be whether to choose a non-metallic or metallic enclosure.
For the majority of wireless applications, a non-metallic enclosure is the better choice. Non-metallic enclosures are lighter, still durable and easier to work with. Most importantly of all, they usually provide excellent signal transmission.
However, in certain cases, a metallic enclosure will be necessary. Polycase offers high-performance solutions for both scenarios, so let’s take a quick look at what each type of enclosure offers:
Next, let’s take a deeper dive into the capabilities each Polycase enclosure offers. With our incredibly wide range, we offer an enclosure solution for virtually every application.
One thing you’ll want to consider as you’re investigating material choices is what kind of protective rating your enclosure may require. If you’re not familiar with enclosure rating systems, here’s a quick cheat sheet:
Take a minute to do some research and determine what level of protection you’ll need. Often, your corporate headquarters or industry trade association will have pre-set standards for your electronics enclosures. Next, take a look at our extensive selection of high-performance enclosures.
At Polycase, we’ve spent years developing an industry-leading selection of enclosures for electronics. So, we’re confident that we can offer you the perfect balance between performance and protection that you’re looking for. We’ll start off with some of our highly popular non-metallic enclosure models. Polycase offers two non-metallic material types: ABS and polycarbonate.
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, or ABS plastic, is one of the most common types of plastic used in electronics worldwide. You’ll find key fobs, computer accessories, electrical plugs and many other electronic devices made from this durable and attractive material.
Advantages of ABS plastic enclosures include:
However, if you need extreme durability, an ABS plastic enclosure may not be what you’re looking for. While it’s a sturdy material that’s great for many different applications, ABS is not in the same league of heat, corrosion and impact resistance as polycarbonate. And although it can be suitable for light outdoor applications when UV stabilizers are included in the molding process, it’s not recommended for prolonged exposure to the elements. For the ultimate non-metallic durability, you may want to take a step up to our polycarbonate enclosures.
Polycarbonate enclosures are the apex of Polycase’s high-performance electronic enclosure offerings. They offer a superb balance between rugged protection and signal-friendliness, and they’re available in a wide variety of models and specs designed to suit the needs of your wireless device.
Our line of polycarbonate enclosures offers many attractive features, including:
If you’re looking for enclosures that are lightweight, versatile and tough enough for even the roughest conditions, polycarbonate may well be just what you need. However, there are still some circumstances when a non-metallic enclosure just won’t do. We’ll look at those next.
Despite most professionals’ preference for non-metallic enclosures, sometimes metallic is the only way to go. Not to worry—Polycase has that covered, too. There are a few main types of applications where you’ll want to go with a metallic enclosure:
The biggest caveat to know about metallic enclosures is that you’ll likely need an external antenna. With only an internal antenna, your device’s performance will likely be poor due to the high signal interference of metal housing. (We recommend a watertight cable gland in many of these cases.) Unfortunately, external antennas have risks of their own—corrosion, extra wear and tear, impacts and more—so it’s essential that you also protect your antenna if you’re using one.
If you need a metal housing for a wireless device, you’ll want either stainless steel or aluminum. Both have their benefits:
Due to their poor transmission properties, metallic enclosures see less use today in the field of wireless electronics. However, when you need their specific properties, it’s important to have them at your disposal. They still see frequent use in livestock processing, marine applications and other specialized fields.
If you’ve chosen to go with a non-metallic enclosure, the answer is a resounding yes! We offer competitively priced custom CNC machining on almost all of our non-metallic enclosure models. (Unfortunately, we do not offer custom machining for our stainless steel line of enclosures at this time.) Polycase is fully equipped to offer the custom machining solution your enclosure needs:
Need warning labels, instructions, branding or other graphics applied to your enclosure? We also offer custom digital printing on our enclosures, with brilliant full-color graphics applied directly onto the material. At Polycase, our commitment to customer satisfaction includes value-added services to help you create exactly the device you want, with the specs you want and the performance you demand!
Naturally, the information in this guide is only the beginning. Depending on your field, you may well need to consider other factors when choosing your enclosure material. But as you work through your design process, keep your fundamental goals in mind—and don’t be afraid to reach out to our team for guidance! Whatever your electronics enclosure needs, Polycase is dedicated to helping you succeed.