How Do I Keep My Stainless Steel Enclosure Sealed From Water?

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Apr 21, 2014

When building a quality enclosure to keep equipment safe from a plant environment, there are a lot of little details that get passed over by many companies. We have seen a lot of enclosures fail to do their job in certain conditions thanks to a few issues. Overwhelmingly, the best way to keep a seal doing its job is to divert or eliminate a direct stream of high pressure water from ever reaching the seal. We do this with our uniquely shaped rain-gutter and door design. This design removes the ability of a “direct shot” aim at the seal itself.

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Another problem that might not be evident with an enclosure is the quality of its seal when the door is closed. With any enclosure worth its salt, there will be some sort of rubber or foam gasket around the edges to make sure that the enclosure has an appropriate seal. Most enclosures have something like this, but the gasket alone does not make the enclosure impervious to water.

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With any sort of seal, you are going to need some sort of positive pressure to make sure that the door and the seal are fitting tightly enough. This is often done using some sort of locking handles. For example, we use cam-locking T-handles that lock the door in place, but they also pull the door inward from tabs in the door for positive pressure.

Even then, there are a handful of companies that use these sorts of handles and locking methods. We go the extra step by adding extra locking handles around the door. At the edge of the door, the cam locks will add a good amount of positive pressure on the seal, but the distribution of that pressure might not be ideal. This means that the door could be sealed very tightly by the edge and not as much the closer you get to the hinges.

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By having multiple T-handle locks around the door, you distribute pressure more evenly around the door for a much better seal. This is especially necessary for enclosures with large doors as the door has to cover a much larger area so the pressure needs to be distributed over a larger gasket.

Enclosures all seem rather similar on the outside, but there are little things that count when picking an enclosure. Attention to detail is key in protecting against hazardous conditions for your vulnerable electronics.

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