Selecting the right electrical enclosure for your needs can be tough, especially when the standards are so confusingly similar. For example, the primary source of electrical enclosure standards – NEMA Enclosure Types – contains six unique “type 3” ratings: type 3, type 3R, type 3S, type 3X, type 3RX, and type 3SX. Although similar in the level of protection they offer, these types of enclosures do provide distinct benefits. Today we’re focusing on NEMA Type 3R, a very common standard amongst APCM products.
NEMA Type 3R
Outdoor enclosures must often confront moisture from rain, sleet, and snow as well as everyday dew and frost. However, indoor enclosures may also be exposed to moisture. For example, factories and damp basements could place electrical equipment at risk if the product’s enclosure didn’t provide moisture protection. Although not waterproof, NEMA type 3R provides a degree of protection against the ingress of water, including rain, sleet, and snow, to prevent harmful effects on the equipment. It also protects against damage from the external formation of ice on the enclosure.
Concerned about your equipment harming your personnel? A NEMA type 3R enclosure ensures that people who access and work with the equipment remain safe by providing them with a degree of protection against hazardous parts.
Solid Foreign Objects
In some environments, solid foreign objects may blow around, land atop, or brush against your enclosure. For example, your enclosure may need to confront falling dirt, mounds of lint on the floor, or crumbs and debris. Luckily, NEMA type 3R enclosures provide a degree of protection to the enclosed equipment against the ingress (i.e., the entrance) of solid foreign objects. However, they only protect against falling solid foreign objects, not windblown objects.
NEMA type 3R enclosures can be used both inside and outside. Although they provide a significant degree of protection, as outlined above, they do not work well in extreme conditions. For example, they will not protect against corrosion, windblown dust, oil, or pressurized water.
The Difference Between NEMA Type 3R and 3
As you’re shopping for enclosures, you will likely come across NEMA types 3 and 3R. We’ve already discussed the protection offered by type 3R, but you may wonder how it differs from a standard type 3 rating. Basically, these two standards are very similar – nearly identical, in fact – with the only difference being that type 3R does not protect against windblown dust, unlike NEMA type 3.
Type 3R vs. the Other Type 3 Ratings
What about the other four ratings based on NEMA type 3: 3X, 3S, 3SX, and 3RX? Again, these are very similar to type 3R. All center on the protections offered by NEMA type 3, but the added letters each convey something different about that specific enclosure type.
For example, as we mentioned above, the addition of the letter “R” indicates that the enclosure does not protect against windblown dust. An “X” conveys that the enclosure protects against corrosion (making it suitable for use near salt water), and an “S” conveys that the enclosure can operate when laden with ice. Therefore, a 3SX enclosure provides all of the protections of a type 3, but it can also work when covered in ice and it won’t corrode.
To view all of the NEMA enclosure types, please visit the NEMA website.
Finally, if you’re on the hunt for a company that can manufacture premium metal enclosures on your behalf, check out American Products Contract Manufacturing. Our high-quality, innovative enclosures enable our customers to assist the telecommunications industry in expanding and improving their network services. We offer NEMA type 1, type 2, type 3, type 3-R, type 3X, type 4, and type 4X metal enclosures, and we manufacture these enclosures from aluminum, galvanized steel, carbon steel, and stainless steel to create a rugged and reliable structure and to meet your environment conditions. Give us a call at 1-877-960-3703 to learn more, or request a free quote online.