What are the Standards of NEMA Computer Enclosure?

When you are having a kiosk computer enclosure customized, the phrase NEMA rating should be covered.  The term simply refers to an enclosure design that meets the industry standards of NEMA.  The letters NEMA stand for National Electrical Manufacturers Association.  The numbers that usually come after that acronym signify the level of protection that the computer enclosure provides.  Combined together they form the NEMA code which is a type of rating of protection of that particular computer enclosure.  The protection of these products guards against corrosive materials like rust, dust, liquids, humidity and other foreign bodies.

The ratings for NEMA Enclosures are predominantly used in the United States and these are very similar to the IP rating of Europe and used elsewhere.  These ratings are used by architects, engineers, inspectors, installers and other parties like kiosk manufacturers as a standard for these types of products. NEMA ratings range from 1, 2, 4, 4x, 5, 6, 6P, 12, 12k, and 13.  As an example, a computer enclosure with a NEMA 4 rating signifies that is constructed for outdoor and indoor use and is designed to provide protection from hose-directed water, splashing water, rain, windblown dust, snow, sleet, and dirt.  An additional feature of the rating stipulates that the enclosure can resist damage caused by formation of ice on the exterior of the enclosure.  However, it cannot protect your computer from internal icing or formation of ice within the internal parts of the computer.

If compared to the ratings of the IP systems, it is as follows:

  • IP54 = NEMA 13 OR 3
  • IP65/IP66 = NEMA 4X
  • IP56 = NEMA 4

The ratings that range from 1 to 13 indicate the levels of protection these NEMA computer enclosures provide for your computing machines.  These ratings are applied and categorized according to non-hazardous and hazardous locations. The ratings cover a wide range of protection levels that differ for each number.

For example, NEMA 1 and 2 is an enclosure type that has a protective application in certain environmental conditions when properly installed in non-hazardous locations. Both types of enclosures are ventilated for heat and cooling of the machine.  NEMA 1 and 2 ratings provide the same protection against: access to dangerous parts, falling dirt or ingress of some solid foreign objects.  NEMA 2 applies an additional layer of protection against light splashing and dripping of water.

The information for NEMA rating is vital in the production of computer enclosures and application.  You will need a deep understanding for this rating so it would be better to hire an expert kiosk manufacturer who can explain and apply the appropriate standards for your computer enclosure needs.  Applying these industry standards for the protection of your kiosk enclosures is a practical solution especially for those used in industrial areas.   It reduces maintenance costs and maintains the upkeep of the computer system and extends the life of their usability.  It also differentiates the type of materials that will be used in creating these enclosures to comply with these standards.  For example, to comply with the NEMA 4 rating, the enclosure must be made of either mild steel (to resist splashes and dusty areas) or stainless steel (to even resist a wash down using high powered jets).

The ratings are applied on a variety of computer enclosures ranging from the smallest form for the desktop to the large standing units that require further durability and protection.