Fastening Systems for Types of Electrical Enclosures

Stud welding is one of the most commonly used operations for manufacturing a broad range of electrical equipment, including the highly critical enclosures that delicate electronics need if they will be placed in a setting with harsh conditions. Because stud welding provides a strong connection with clean welds that don’t leave marks on the opposite side of the weld, it’s an ideal process for fabricating electrical enclosures that will hold up to a broad variety of conditions.


Electrical enclosures need to protect the equipment contained within from wind, rain, snow, ice, dust, UV light, and even seismic activity. Stud welding is the tool needed to build enclosures that will be reliable against the elements in the long-term. With Northland Fastening Systems, you can get all the supplies you need to use stud welding as one of your primary fastening systems.


While the purpose and general design of different electrical enclosures doesn’t vary greatly between boxes, there are key differences that make specific enclosures more suited to one environment over another. For many enclosures, NEMA ratings (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) will determine what environment it’s best suited for. NEMA ratings range from 1 to 13, with NEMA 1 being the least hardy electrical enclosure (commonly used indoors) and NEMA 13 enclosures capable of holding up to industrial grade contaminants.


Some examples of NEMA ratings include:


  • NEMA 3 enclosures are the most weather resistant, capable of withstanding wind, rain, and more. NEMA 3X enclosures are even resistant to salt water corrosion and are used in outdoor settings near shorelines and on ships.
  • NEMA 4 enclosures are fully water tight and can be used in areas with large quantities of water. 4X enclosures have added corrosion resistance as well as being watertight.
  • NEMA 6 enclosures can be fully submerged in water or oil. 6P can be fully submerged for longer periods of time.
  • NEMA 7 and 8 enclosures are used in hazardous conditions that will be exposed to gases including propane, ethylene, methane, butane, hydrogen, acetylene, and benzene.


While NEMA ratings cover a broad range of factors that enclosures built with stud weld fastening systems will face, the issue of seismic activity is not addressed. Instead, seismic rated enclosures have their own requirements. To meet seismic grade enclosure requirements, stud welding is a necessary operation to use. Seismic rated enclosures need heavy duty doors, full welding, and mounting hardware. The need for seismic rated enclosures depends on the zone where an enclosure will be installed. Of Zones 1-4, seismic enclosures are necessary in Zones 3 and 4 where seismic activity is heightened.


Whether you need to manufacture NEMA rated or seismic grade enclosures, NFS has the supplies you need including stud welding tools for rent or purchase, welding studs in a complete range of dimensions, and the expertise of our own welding technicians. Contact us at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online today to get started with stud welding fastening systems.