Insulated enclosures protect against frost and condensation
11 March 2011
The environmental protection of outdoor instrument installations has been made a little easier thanks to a new range of highly insulated enclosures from field equipment protection specialist, Intertec. The Basic Vario range of wall- or floor-mounting cabinets features a novel sandwich construction comprising glass reinforced polyester skins enclosing a thick layer of insulating foam. This delivers a thermal conductivity, or 'k' value rating, of approximately 1.5 Watts per Kelvin-metre, sufficient to protect the enclosure contents against frost and condensation, as well as providing a stable temperature environment for sensitive field instrumentation.
In its standard form, Basic Vario is supplied as a rectangular-shaped enclosure in a choice of three standard sizes of 105x64cm, 105x84cm or 105x104cm with a depth of 35cm. The volumes are large enough to accommodate several field process transmitters, analytical instruments or electrical circuits. The construction technique also lends itself to customisation, should other than standard sizes be required.
The enclosures meet IP65 - with Type 4X approval pending - and are fitted with a large hinged door (with or without a window) providing access to the cabinet interior. Tube and/or cable entry is flexible and can be made through the rear or any of the four sides. A useful feature of these enclosures is their flat exterior surfaces, free of any overhanging edges, which allows them to be packed side by side or on top of each other.
Various accessories are available for Basic Vario, including hard foam mouldings that can be drilled to accept tubing and thus minimise the 'thermal short-cut' effects of access holes. The thick sandwich construction is also strong enough to take lightweight equipment, which can be mounted directly on interior surfaces, avoiding the need for mounting rails in some instances.
Intertec claims that the long fibre reinforced grades of GRP sheeting employed in the construction of these enclosures provides a structural strength that almost matches stainless steel - for just a quarter of the weight. Moreover, the external surfaces are weatherproof and resist some corrosive chemicals, ensuring a place for these enclosures some of the more aggressive industrial environments, including chemical, oil and gas plants.
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