Understanding NEMA Type 4-4X Panel Coolers for Cabinet Enclosures and the right time to utilize them.
NEMA Type 4 enclosures, equivalent to IP 66 in Europe, resist water sprays and are dust-proof. The 4X version also resists corrosion. Electrical enclosures in corrosive or weathered environments need this standard. NEMA Type 4 or 4-4X rated enclosures require equivalent cooling systems.
Some NEMA Type 4 coolers use an aluminum cover and a stainless steel vortex tube. Others use different metals. Frequent wash downs can corrode the large cover, especially if not anodized. This corrosion comes from residual water. NEMA type 4X units, often made of stainless steel, are more reliable long-term.
NEMA Type 4-4X Requirements
A NEMA Type 4-4X cooler is waterproof, but you shouldn’t submerge it. It must resist heavy water sprays without water entry. UL and ULC rigorously test this for certification. Ensure the cooler has proper approval.
NEMA type 4X coolers undergo rigorous corrosion tests. They face 1200 hours in moist air with carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide. They also endure 800 hours of salt spray tests. These vortex operated cabinet enclosure coolers, must be dust proof and ice-damage resistant. Often, manufacturers use stainless steel for these devices. Stainless steel best resists corrosion and weathering for the NEMA rating.
Applications for NEMA 4X Enclosures
The range of applications for NEMA Type 4X coolers are many, environments with aggressive conditions to the ability to retain their cosmetic look and maintain functionality under all conditions to which they may be subject. The resistance to corrosion, water sprays and adverse weathering represent three important applications for NEMA Type 4X enclosures.
Corrosive Substances in the Atmosphere
When corrosive gases and vapors are present, NEMA Type 4X enclosures protect electrical equipment and internal devices from contamination and harm. Vortex-operated coolers in particular keep control panels at a slightly positive pressure to keep out contaminated air. Industry examples include wastewater facilities, and factories handling corrosive chemicals.
Corrosion tests may only include certain conditions. Therefore the resistance of seals and the enclosure cooler materials of construction to particularly aggressive chemicals should be verified before using. A NEMA Type 4X enclosure is not suitable for use in hazardous areas where explosive vapors may exist. Such units are of a different design.
Wash Down and Heavy Splashing Areas
A NEMA Type 4X enclosure is ideal in food processing operations when equipment is subject to being washed down with either water or chemical solutions to maintain hygiene standards. It’s also applicable to other facilities that use water sprays like dairies and vehicle cleaning services, and anywhere high-pressure cleaning equipment may be utilized.
In some manufacturing areas, if there is a risk of accidental splashing and contamination of equipment from fluids used during processing, such coolers are ideal. One example is for the pulp preparation locations in paper mills. NEMA Type 4X vortex-tube-operated coolers are especially suitable for use in marine environments where equipment may be exposed to salt water. In marine environments, 316 or 316L stainless steel should be the main construction of Panel Coolers.
All-Weather Outdoor Locations
NEMA Type 4 Panel Coolers are weatherproof and fit for outdoors. However, NEMA Type 3R versions are often cheaper and also outdoor-approved. Specifically, stainless steel NEMA Type 3R or 4X enclosures work well in dusty, wind-abrasive areas. They’re also ideal in hot, humid places like coasts where mild steel corrodes quickly. Using 316L stainless steel designates it as a NEMA Type 4X unit.
Nex Flow manufactures all of their Panel Coolers in stainless steel to offer the best durability for any NEMA Type application: NEMA Type 12 (IP 54), NEMA Type 3R (IP 14) and NEMA Type 4-4x (IP 66).