The acronym “NEMA” stands for National Electrical Manufacturers Association, which is the largest electrical manufacturer association in the United States of America. NEMA has so far published more than 700 standards, technical papers, application guides and white papers as well. NEMA issues guidelines and standards that define which electrical enclosures suit a given environment. Apart from electrical enclosures, NEMA has also issued standards for magnet wires, AC plugs, motors among other electrical components and equipment and is a credible and reputed organisation.
Electrical enclosures are the boxes within which the electrical switches for controlling the electricals are mounted and placed. As these boxes and the cabinets may be placed in different areas, the NEMA ratings will help you know which environment calls for the use of which kind of electrical enclosure. This is so because the enclosures are built with different kinds of materials to sustain their built structure and functioning in different kinds of scenarios and environment. NEMA rating indicates which kind of electrical cabinet or enclosure can be used in a given situation.
NEMA Type 1 Enclosures
An electrical enclosure marked with the NEMA type 1 rating can be used in the indoor areas for the utility boxes, switches, and junctions. These offer good protection against dirt and dust.
Nema Type 3 Enclosures
These electrical enclosures can be used both outdoor and indoor. Apart from dust and dirt, they also offer protection against sleet and rain. Any ice formation on the cabinet or box will not affect the internal components. NEMA Type 3R cabinets are one variety that is used extensively for the meter cabinets.
NEMA Type 4 Enclosures
The cabinets are extensively used in the industrial scenario and their applications include hydraulic enclosures, wiring enclosures, and the operator console.
NEMA Type 4X
The enclosure cabinets are specially designed for protecting electrical components against corrosion. They are widely used in the food, paper and marine industries and work environment and in the water treatment plants.
It is always good to buy certified products from a reputed supplier and manufacturer so that the reliability and safety of the equipment are preserved and the operations are not threatened with damage and failure.