Both metallic and non-metallic enclosures have their place in protecting sensitive electrical and electronic equipment. But for certain applications, non-metallic enclosures are the standard choice.
In this article, we’ll discuss Polycase’s options for non-metallic enclosures. We’ll focus on two popular materials: ABS plastic and polycarbonate. Let’s look at what makes these enclosures so popular, the key properties of the materials and the best non-metallic enclosure options available from Polycase.
Polycase SG-16 Polycarbonate Enclosure
Non-Metallic Enclosures: The Basics
A non-metallic enclosure is simply an enclosure that’s made from a material other than metal. Metallic enclosures, such as stainless steel enclosures and aluminum enclosures, are the standard for many industries, but non-metallic enclosures are equally common for certain applications.
Why do many manufacturers choose non-metallic enclosures to protect their electrical and electronic equipment? Here are a few major reasons:
- Often cost less than comparably durable materials such as stainless steel
- Many offer excellent protection from corrosion
- Lower maintenance needs than some other enclosure material types
- Available in a wide variety of sizes and designs to suit specific needs
- Much easier to machine than materials such as stainless steel
The most popular non-metallic enclosure options are ABS plastic and polycarbonate plastic. When it comes to the question of choosing an ABS vs. polycarbonate enclosure, the right choice for your application will depend on the specific features you need from your enclosure material. Let’s examine the features and benefits of each of these two options.
ABS Plastic Enclosures
Polycase WA-20 ABS Enclosure
ABS plastic is a durable and cost-effective material that’s widely used for consumer electronics enclosures. ABS enclosures are especially popular for use as potting boxes. ABS plastic is also known for its flame retardant qualities, and many Polycase ABS enclosures feature UL 94 flame ratings. Most ABS models are recommended primarily for indoor use.
Some of Polycase’s most popular ABS enclosures include:
- Polycase AG Series: These indoor-rated ABS enclosures are ideal for desktop and handheld electronics. Their stylish and pleasing look is complemented by usability features such as a removable end panel for easy modifications.
- Polycase TX Series: For our customers seeking high-performance potting box enclosures, the TX Series models are among our most popular and cost-effective ABS enclosure models. Available with optional glue-on covers, the TX Series provides simple and effective options.
- Polycase XR Series: The XR Series models are indoor-rated ABS enclosures with modern styling and a cost-effective price point. With multiple cover styles to choose from and options for mounting flanges, the XR Series offers the versatility that today’s enclosure buyers need.
- Polycase SN Series: These snap-together ABS enclosures are precision-molded for an easily assembled fit. They’re an ideal choice for potting boxes and for any other application that needs an enclosure to hold small printed circuit boards.
Polycarbonate is another widely-used enclosure material that sets a high standard of durability and ruggedness. A high-quality polycarbonate enclosure can survive severe weather conditions and can resist UV radiation and chemical corrosion.
Polycase’s leading polycarbonate enclosure models include:
- Polycase YQ Series: Rated all the way up to NEMA 6P for protection against prolonged submersion, the YQ Series models are among Polycase’s most rugged polycarbonate enclosures. This series of enclosures is available with a variety of options and accessories, including gray or clear covers, as well as pole mounting kits, DIN rail kits, internal panels and more.
- Polycase SK Series: Manufactured with easy-to-use knockouts for easy setup and installation, the SK Series models are high-performance polycarbonate enclosures. The SK Series also features an IK08 impact rating to protect the equipment inside from heavy impacts, making these polycarbonate enclosures an all-around rugged and reliable choice.
- Polycase ML Series: These tough polycarbonate enclosures are UV stabilized for protection against damage from sunlight and are rated IP68 and NEMA 4X for protection against corrosion and extreme weather. Sealed tightly with a silicone rubber gasket, the MLSeries is an ideal choice for outdoor applications.
- Polycase WC Series: The WC Series is an all-around top choice for tough outdoor enclosures, with a NEMA 4X rating and a silicone rubber gasket designed to provide high-grade protection from adverse weather conditions.
Businesses, researchers and hobbyists who need non-metallic enclosures will find the best selection at Polycase, and we even offer easy one-stop customized enclosure options. To learn more, call our enclosure experts at 1-800-248-1233 or contact us online.