Electrical enclosures protect delicate circuitry, wiring, and other electronics susceptible to moisture, dust, and many other contaminants. For industries where electrical enclosures need to be installed in areas that are exposed to damaging elements, stud welding is a critical operation that allows manufacturers to build clean, secure systems that eliminate the risk of many contaminants. With stud welding, fabricators can build quickly and efficiently, installing threaded studs, bar anchors, shear connectors, and many other stud formats. Stud connection points are stronger than the stud or surface material, ensuring little risk of a stress failure. If you’re using stud welding in any project, Northland Fastening Systems (NFS) has the tools and supplies you need. We provide a complete selection of tools for rent or purchase, studs in various dimensions, custom stud options, and full welding accessories for drawn arc, short cycle, and CD stud welding.
CD stud welding, in particular, is an important operation for the fabrication of electrical enclosures. Because CD stud welding creates secure, powerful connections with small diameter studs, CD operations are ideal for many types of electrical enclosures. These welding operations also leave no marks on the back of a weld surface, no matter how thin the surface is. This means CD studs can be hidden in the fabrication of clean builds.
Levels of Enclosures
Electrical enclosures meet varying levels of protection, from a simple box installed indoors to rugged casings that keep out heavy contaminants. These levels of protection are based on the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) standards.
- First-level enclosures are used indoors to protect people in the vicinity from exposure to hazardous components. These enclosures are simple boxes, such as a household switch box, that encase building circuit switches and keep out a low level of dust and other solid contaminants.
- Second-level enclosures can be used either indoors or outdoors to provide protective cases for nearby people; and they keep out low levels of dirt, windblown solid objects, and some degree of water from rain, snow, and ice. These enclosures also protect electronics from ice formation on the exterior of the case.
- Third-level enclosures are typically used outdoors to protect nearby people and keep out elements of weather—such as dust, ice on the casing, and corrosion—to a greater degree than second-level boxes. They are not required to be dust-tight or have ventilation systems.
- Fourth-level enclosures have the same protective features as third-level casings but to a greater degree, and they are required to be dust- and water-tight. These enclosures can be used in areas where they will be exposed to full water spray for short periods of time, such as in food processing equipment that is washed down and sanitized regularly.
- Fifth-level enclosures are fully sealed against water, dust, and other contaminants. They protect nearby people from hazardous parts, and they generally include some form of ventilation system.