NEMA Enclosures for Rugged Computer Systems

W5 Wall Mount Computer SystemThis document provides general information on the definitions of NEMA Enclosure Types. Chassis Plans is fully conversant in Nema enclosures and can design and produce rugged computer chassis, enclosures, rackmount and panelmount displays, and keyboards which meet any of the various NEMA standards. 

Definitions [From NEMA 250-1997]

In Non-Hazardous Locations, the specific enclosure Types, their applications, and the environmental conditions they are designed to protect against, when completely and properly installed, are as follows:

Type 1 – Enclosures constructed for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against incidental contact with the enclosed equipment and to provide a degree of protection against falling dirt.

Type 2 – Enclosures constructed for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against incidental contact with the enclosed equipment, to provide a degree of protection against falling dirt, and to provide a degree of protection against dripping and light splashing of liquids.

Type 3 – Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against incidental contact with the enclosed equipment; to provide a degree of protection against falling dirt, rain, sleet, snow, and windblown dust; and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

Type 3R – Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against incidental contact with the enclosed equipment; to provide a degree of protection against falling dirt, rain, sleet, and snow; and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

Type 3S – Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against incidental contact with the enclosed equipment; to provide a degree of protection against falling dirt, rain, sleet, snow, and windblown dust; and in which the external mechanism(s) remain operable when ice laden.

Type 4 – Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against incidental contact with the enclosed equipment; to provide a degree of protection against falling dirt, rain, sleet, snow, windblown dust, splashing water, and hose-directed water; and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

Type 4X – Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against incidental contact with the enclosed equipment; to provide a degree of protection against falling dirt, rain, sleet, snow, windblown dust, splashing water, hose-directed water, and corrosion; and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

Type 5 – Enclosures constructed for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against incidental contact with the enclosed equipment; to provide a degree of protection against falling dirt; against settling airborne dust, lint, fibres, and flyings; and to provide a degree of protection against dripping and light splashing of liquids.

Type 6 – Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against incidental contact with the enclosed equipment; to provide a degree of protection against falling dirt; against hose-directed water and the entry of water during occasional temporary submersion at a limited depth; and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

Type 6P – Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against incidental contact with the enclosed equipment; to provide a degree of protection against falling dirt; against hose-directed water and the entry of water during prolonged submersion at a limited depth; and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

Type 12 – Enclosures constructed (without knockouts) for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against incidental contact with the enclosed equipment; to provide a degree of protection against falling dirt; against circulating dust, lint, fibres, and flyings; and against dripping and light splashing of liquids.

Type 12K – Enclosures constructed (with knockouts) for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against incidental contact with the enclosed equipment; to provide a degree of protection against falling dirt; against circulating dust, lint, fibres, and flyings; and against dripping and light splashing of liquids.

Type 13 – Enclosures constructed for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against incidental contact with the enclosed equipment; to provide a degree of protection against falling dirt; against circulating dust, lint, fibres, and flyings; and against the spraying, splashing, and seepage of water, oil, and non-corrosive coolants.


Comparison Between NEMA Enclosure Type Numbers and IEC

Enclosure Classification Designations
IEC Publication 60529 Classification of Degrees of Protection Provided by Enclosures provides a system for specifying the enclosures of electrical equipment on the basis of the degree of protection provided by the enclosure.  IEC 60529 does not specify degrees of protection against mechanical damage of equipment, risk of explosions, or conditions such as moisture (produced for example by condensation), corrosive vapours, fungus, or vermin.  The NEMA Standard for Enclosures for Electrical Equipment does test for environmental conditions such as corrosion, rust, icing, oil, and coolants. For this reason, and because the test and evaluations for other characteristics are not identical, the IEC Enclosure Classification Designations cannot be exactly equated with the enclosure Type numbers in this Standard.

The IEC designation consists of the letters IP followed by two numerals.  The first characteristic numeral indicates the degree of protection provided by the enclosure with respect to persons and solid foreign objects entering the enclosure.  The second characteristic numeral indicates the degree of protection provided by the enclosure with respect to the harmful ingress of water.

Table A-1 provides an equivalent conversion from the enclosure Type numbers in this Standard to the IEC Enclosure Classification Designations.  The enclosure type numbers meet or exceed the test requirements for the associated IEC Classification; for this reason Table A-1 cannot be used to convert from IEC Classifications to enclosure Type numbers.


Conversion of Enclosure Type numbers to IEC Classification Designations

Cannot be used to convert IEC Classification Designations to NEMA Type numbers
Table A-1 [From NEMA 250-1997]

Enclosure
Type Number
IEC Enclosure

Classification Designation

1
IP10
2
IP11
3
IP54
3R
IP14
3S
IP54
4 and 4X
IP56
5
IP52
6 AND 6P
IP67
12 AND 12K
IP52
13
IP54

 

This comparison is based on tests specified in IEC Publication 60529.