Why Custom Enclosure Modifications Matter (And How to Design Them)
The primary function of an enclosure is to house an electronic system, protecting it against environmental factors such as dust, moisture, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and physical damage. An enclosure can also play a vital role in heat dissipation as well as shielding against electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI).
Meeting these goals starts with the selection of appropriate material. The options include acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic, polycarbonate, extruded and die-cast aluminum, and various steel grades. Each material has unique tradeoffs in cost, weight, durability, and appearance.
An example of enclosure variety is the 1554/1555 series from Hammond Manufacturing (Figure 1). These enclosures are available in inexpensive ABS plastic for general purpose, low-cost use, or rugged polycarbonate for more demanding applications. The latter option is rated up to the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) 4/4X and 6/6P for water-tight and submersible applications and has a flame rating up to UL94-5VA. The enclosures use a gasket tongue-and-groove seal to provide ingress protection (IP) up to IP68.