High Strength! Non-Corrosive! Why you need to look at GRP Enclosures.
Author: Nigel Rowland Date Posted:2 February 2016
Have you been one of the few electrical professionals in Australia that have used GRP electrical enclosures in your career? If not, you might be wondering – what is a GRP electrical enclosure? Don’t you mean a plastic enclosure? Not at all...
The designation ‘GRP’ covers a wide range of formulations of glass fiber and thermoset resin, which can be engineered to give the material properties required. It is widely used in the aerospace and automotive industries with applications ranging from valve and sump covers for car engines to the air frame of the Euro-fighter Typhoon fighter jet.
However with the electrical enclosures that we are talking about, the formulation is unsaturated polyester resin, inorganic filler and glass fibers 25-50mm long.The result is enclosures with a very high strength to weight ratio, very high resistance to UV (25+yrs), chemicals, acids, salt air and other corrosive atmospheres meaning it will never rust.
GRP enclosures fill a distinct niche between mild steel and stainless steel enclosures with price being similar to mild steel, yet offering many of the advantages of stainless steel such as durability, UV resistance and most importantly resistance to corrosion.
Case Study 1:
Brief: Cabinet required for protection of measurement equipment in exposed coastal area.
A GRP enclosure would be ideal for this application as it offers IP66 rating, UV Resistance and corrosion resistance at price point that is closer to a powder coated steel cabinet. In addition GRP is fully permeable to radio signal allowing transmitters to be mounted inside the enclosure for remote operation.
Case Study 2:
Brief: Control board cabinet required in plant where corrosive chemicals are utilised.
GRP would be ideal for this environment being resistant to acidic and alkaline chemical environments, water, moisture and many organic solvents. Once again with a significant price advantage over stainless steel.