Sheet Metal Enclosure Buying Guide

polycase metal enclosureSheet metal steel enclosures are widely used in the field of electrical design. You’ll find them in everything from junction boxes to control panels for industrial machinery. These enclosures are simple, versatile and extremely tough, so they’re in high demand for electrical projects and are often custom-fabricated. But if you’re looking for high-quality, off-the-shelf metal enclosures, you’ve got more options than you might expect.

For those considering purchasing sheet metal enclosures, Polycase can help. First, let’s learn about the excellent benefits metal enclosures offer. Then, we’ll learn about why a custom fabrication might not be necessary, and we’ll review the great options that Polycase has available for our customers who need metal enclosures.

Advantages of Metal Enclosures

Metal enclosures provide many benefits that other materials don’t. Steel and stainless steel enclosures, in particular, are notable for their many useful properties:

  • Excellent resistance to both high and low temperatures
  • Nearly impervious to many common industrial chemicals such as alcohol and solvents
  • When paired with a high-performance rubber gasket, provides great protection against splashing and hose-directed water
  • High resistance to impacts from tools and machinery
  • Long-lasting and generally durable performance

Many electrical designers choose to use sheet metal enclosures for exactly these reasons. To figure out what your needs are, you should consider some key factors first.

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Considerations When Buying Metal Enclosures

Choosing a model of enclosure for an electrical device is a critical decision point, and there will likely be many different factors in play. Think about the following factors when deciding which model to go with:

  • What kind of environmental hazards (precipitation, dust, UV exposure, corrosion, etc.) will your device encounter?
  • What NEMA rating or IP rating will your enclosure require to receive adequate protection from those environmental hazards? (Need a quick refresher on NEMA and IP ratings? Check out our NEMA and IP ratings guides!)
  • How big will your enclosure need to be in order to fit its essential components and still leave room for assembly?
  • What other essential components will the enclosure need to fulfill its function? Will it require hinges, a lock or mounting flanges?

Once you’ve decided on the features you need, it’s time to look at options for procuring the enclosures. You might think you need to talk to a custom metal fabricator. But, depending on your needs, you may be able to pay less and get great results by going with prefab enclosures from Polycase.

Why Custom Fabrication Isn’t Always the Way to Go

Custom fabrication of sheet metal enclosures is popular, but there can be better ways to do it. Having a custom enclosure fabricated isn’t cheap, particularly if you need to do a small run rather than buying in bulk. You might be looking at high costs and longer lead times than you want.

In fact, Polycase offers so many different sizes of steel enclosures that custom fabrication may be unnecessary. We offer options in both steel and stainless steel with top-quality construction and the features that modern applications demand. With our wide selection and renowned quality, we can provide metal enclosure solutions to our customers that are competitive with anything offered by metal fabricators.

Sheet Metal Enclosures from Polycase

Polycase offers excellent options for our customers interested in metallic enclosures. If you’re looking for the unique properties and strength offered by sheet metal enclosures, check out these models:

  • SA Series Stainless Steel Enclosures: Some of our most popular enclosures, the SA Series are recognized for their extreme durability and professional-grade features. They’re constructed from 304 stainless steel, the preferred choice of designers and engineers around the world, and they’re rated for performance to IP66 and NEMA 4X standards. With a hinged door and keyed quarter turn latch, plus bonding studs and mounting hardware, these enclosures are created for peerless performance.
  • SB Series Steel Enclosures: These carbon steel enclosures are a cost-effective alternative to stainless steel and include many of the same high-performance features. They’re constructed from 16-gauge carbon steel and feature a waterproof gasket for NEMA 4X protection against environmental hazards, and their attractive gray powder coated finish looks great in all kinds of environments.

Polycase SA-35 Stainless Steel Enclosure

Polycase SA-35 Stainless Steel Enclosure

For 65 years and counting, Polycase has set the standard for high-quality enclosures. If you’re considering a custom fabricated sheet metal enclosure, make sure you’re aware of the savings and convenience that using prefab enclosures could offer you. For more information, call us at 1-800-248-1233 or contact us online for quotes, selection tips and beyond.