NEMA Enclosure Gaskets, Electrical Enclosure GasketsStockwell Elastomerics manufactures custom NEMA enclosure gaskets, electrical enclosure gaskets, door gaskets, IP65 gaskets and IP66 gaskets to specification.
Electrical Enclosure Gaskets"Enclosure gasket" or "enclosure door gasket" are broad terms that describe the gasket between the housing and the cover or door on an electrical enclosure. The configuration and function of the enclosure can vary drastically, from metal to plastic, large to small, dustproof to waterproof, etc. National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Ingress Protection (IP) standards help engineers define the specific requirements that need to be met for their design. As an example, the designer of an outdoor telecommunication base-station housing may call out IP65 or even more aggressive IP66. This tells the gasket designer that the gasket needs to be dust proof and water tight under hose-down conditions. The NEMA call out for this would be NEMA 3 or NEMA 4.
It is critical to specify the correct gasketing material. If a gasket fails, hundreds or thousands of dollar worth of sensitive electronics can be damaged. Items to consider are:
The general performance function required, such as dust sealing, wash-down protection, or submersion, will also determine the best material for the enclosure gasket.
NEMA GasketsA NEMA gasket designed to meet the NEMA Type 4 requirement has to seal dust as well as pass a hose-down test. Note that the NEMA enclosure gasket is not directly rated; the enclosure itself will carry the NEMA rating. The gasket is a means of meeting the NEMA 4 rating. The wash down requirement means the gasket needs to be closed cell material to eliminate the ingress of water. The firmness of the sponge or hardness of a solid gasket will depend on the enclosure design and how much closure force is allowed. These same principles hold true for the more aggressive NEMA 5 (NEMA Type 5) enclosures.
NEMA Door GasketsA NEMA door gasket is a general term that describes the gasket around the door on an enclosure that meets one of National Electrical Manufacturers Association's specifications. The gasket is not rated, but it performs the functional task of meeting the NEMA requirements. As an example, an open cell gasket material may be specified for a NEMA Type 1 (NEMA 1) where dust may be the only concern. For more aggressive hose-down or wash-down requirements such as NEMA Type 4 (NEMA 4), closed cell gasket materials are required.
IP 65 gasketsThe IEC IP standards help engineers define the specific requirements that need to be met for an electrical enclosure. The first digit refers to the sealing of solids such as dust and dirt. The second digit refers to water present in different conditions (low pressure, high pressure, submersion). An IP65 requirement states that an enclosure needs to be dust proof and meet low wash-down requirements with minimal ingress of water. For specific IP standards and criteria, refer to the IEC website.
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