Why Choose a Metal to Build a Superior Electronic Enclosure?

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Updated: September 19, 2017

Electronic enclosures protect electronic gadgets and consoles from wave interferences and physical damages. Electromagnetic and radio waves interfere with the working of a fabricated circuit. The environmental hazards like water, dust, or chemical spills can also impact a circuit negatively. To make any automated system keep working like clockwork, the designers must choose the right kind of electronic enclosures for their circuits.  Both plastic and metal enclosures offer adequate shielding. However, aviation, medical, military, marine and high-tech electronic industries that involve precise engineering always prefer metal made electronic enclosures. Aluminum, steel, and copper are the three types of metals that are popular choices among manufacturers in these sectors.

When it comes to protecting high-tech electronics from wave interference and physical harm, metal enclosures provide the following advantages over plastic and fiber glass solutions:

The heavy engineering sector strives to manufacture gadgetries that can stand the test of time. The metal enclosures can withstand the high impact forces, and as a result aerospace and military industries to meet their design needs. The medical and high-tech electronics, on the other hand, seek precision in their working. A metal enclosure can ensure that smoothness in operation due to its high heat and electrical conductivity. Metal compounds offer a superior option when the objective is to impede electronic crosstalk and interferences.  If overheating is the problem in a fabricated circuit then a metal enclosure may help in the dissipation of heat. A metal housing is most efficient in blocking radio frequencies, and, therefore, when it comes to electromagnetic shielding, plastic or new age fiberglass cannot beat them.

Here is how the three different types of metals work to protect circuitries in electronics:

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Aluminum

Die-cast aluminum enclosures are one of the oldest materials used as an electronic enclosure. Compared to stainless steel, aluminum enclosures are lighter in weight and more ductile. New-age aluminum sheet varieties are preferred for making an electronic enclosure for bigger and complicated designs. The advantage of aluminum sheets is that they can be used to house enclosures for a variety of interrelated electronics system.  The aluminum variety 5052 is ideal for producing sheet metal enclosures and parts. Their high ductility allows them to bend in a tight radius without showing any signs of stress, which means they don’t easily crack when welded and machined to make enclosures.

Steel

The cold rolled steel is used for general enclosure fabrication. It is widely used for low impact indoor circuitry shielding, while low-carbon galvanneal steel is an option for making better outdoor- friendly enclosures. If budget allows and the designer is looking for a durable solution, then stainless steel would be the best choice. Stainless steel is corrosion resistant which makes it a sought after material for enclosures designed for food and dairy production, petrochemical, marine, and industrial application.

Copper

Copper is mostly used to make bus bars when it comes to enclosure designing.  A copper enclosure helps in distribution of excess current throughout the circuit. As an excellent heat conductor, a copper enclosure can trap the heat of an overheated component in a circuit. If a designer intends to address the circuit heat problem in a cost-effective way, then they must use a copper enclosure.

The heavy-duty industries nowadays use sophisticated electronic components in their machinery. Electronic enclosures made of metals allow all parts of a gadget to work seamlessly while keeping them safe from any physical harm. Meta enclosures have stood the test of time, and so, when it comes to active shielding, designers always prefer metal over plastic and fiberglass. Depending on their needs and budgetary constraints, designers choose a particular metal type.