NEMA 4, NEMA 4X, NEMA 12 – What do they actually mean?

NEMA is a common term thrown around in the manufacturing industry, in case you didn’t know, it actually stands for National Electrical Manufacturers Association. NEMA was originally formed in 1926 to set standards for companies producing any sort of electrical products, equipment, or wiring in outside industrial facilities.

It has since then evolved, as technology has evolved, to ensure the quality of all electrical devices, controls, wiring, etc. In order to ensure the best protection possible, it is recommend that all these devices be put into an enclosure or cabinet. In addition to the enclosure it is important that the NEMA standards are met by companies in order to properly protect electrical equipment in various locations, both hazardous and non-hazardous locations.

Each NEMA rating was specifically developed to match a unique application and environment. This is to ensure that you use the right enclosure for the right application. Along with the enclosure you will need the right enclosure cooler (or thermal management system) to ensure the proper protection of your equipment. It is important to Vortec to make sure that all of our enclosure coolers live up to that promise and the standards that NEMA requires. That Is why every ITW Vortec enclosure cooler is rigorously tested and certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). This way your equipment continues to meet productivity and safety standards. Make sure you see which NEMA rated enclosure cooler is best suited towards your needs. Below are what these NEMA ratings mean and protect against:

NEMA 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 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.

NEMA 4X - Enclosures are designed for use in harsher conditions than NEMA 4. They are constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection against dirt, rain, sleet, snow, windblown dust, splashing water, and hose-directed water. Plus, the equipment will be undamaged by the external formation of ice, and provides an additional level or protection against corrosion, on the enclosure.

NEMA 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, fibers, and against dripping and light splashing of (non-corrosive) liquids.

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