Quick guide: industrial components for outdoor cabinets
13 minutes | 09 Apr 2021
Outdoor cabinets have specific requirements to stand up to the elements and the threat of vandalism or theft. This goes for whatever cabinet you’re designing, whether an industrial cabinet, outdoor electrical enclosure, telecom cabinet or cable junction box.
To help make your job easier, we’ve put together this guide to help you design your cabinet. We’ve made free CADs of our solutions available for download. You can also try before you buy on most products by requesting free samples.
Keep in mind that just as outdoor enclosures vary, so too can the location of components within the enclosure. This is a general guide for the components outdoor cabinets typically require. For example, an outdoor telecom cabinet will often have a rear door, so you might need to mount solutions on the roof or side panels to allow the door to open with ease.
Protecting your outdoor cabinets
Outdoor cabinets can be vulnerable to tampering and vandalism, so it’s good to know that we offer solutions that meet DIN V 1630:1999-04. Some of our access hardware components are also certified to WK2 standard. This means they’re tested for protection against physical force and the use of small tools, such as screwdrivers.
Environmental factors are another concern. We’ve addressed these issues with our own internal testing facilities, ensuring that components are robust and durable enough to resist the corrosive effects of salt spray.
NEMA and IP ratings
The first issue you need to be aware of is NEMA or IP ratings. Both of these are standards that tell you the level of protection against dust, dirt, moisture, water and other foreign objects, such as tools or fingers. If you want an outdoor NEMA cabinet, or one that is IP rated, then some of your components need to carry this rating as well. This will maintain your cabinet’s rating. You can learn more about IP and NEMA ratings here.
If your application is a fibre street cabinet, the components shown here are suitable, from outdoor cabinet hinges to electrical enclosure locks and latches. However, you’ll also need fibre-optic cable management, designed specifically for optimising network performance and enabling easy access for maintenance. View components designed for fibre cabinets here.
Let’s look at the different parts attached to the frame, and what components you need to consider.
Access to your cabinets: Front or rear door
If you want to access your electric cabinet design from both sides, then these components work for either front or rear doors.
There are many different types of cabinet hinges. For an outdoor cabinet, your priority should be to prevent tampering. These outdoor cabinet hinges will help keep the equipment housed in your outdoor cabinet safe and sound.
Concealed hinges are installed inside telecom street cabinets and other enclosures, which provides extra security. Screw-on concealed hinges are ideal as electrical cabinet hinges, and come in three different materials: nylon, steel and stainless-steel hinges. The steel versions offer handed, pin, removable pin and spring-loaded options. If you need heavy-duty steel hinges, choose the pin version which has a 110˚ rotation angle and high mechanical strength. The handed versions with a 90˚ rotation angle are also great for heavy-duty applications as well as lightweight needs. Weld-on concealed hinges are also available.
A position-control hinge is a type of adjustable torque hinge and ideal for telecom roadside cabinets and other electrical panel enclosure designs. Made of nylon, it comes in a variety of different external mounting versions. These adjustable torque hinges have internal resistance and restrict movement of your panel or door. Adjustable torque position-control hinges are especially helpful for an outdoor electrical box enclosure, where frequent access is needed.
Weld-on bullet hinges are ideal industrial cabinet hinges. They offer a high degree of security and strength, which is why they’re popular for outdoor applications, from industrial storage cabinets to specialty vehicles. Weld-on bullet hinges provide a fluid opening action, making this another option if frequent access to the cabinet is needed.
Metal corner hinges, like concealed hinges, are mounted inside the cabinet and make perfect electrical enclosure hinges with a 180˚ rotational angle. A cabinet corner door hinge contains a pin, which you can remove when the doors are open. This enables you to take off the doors for easier access when maintenance is required.
HVAC hinges are also suitable for electrical panels. Made of die-cast zinc alloy, these are heavy-duty free-swinging hinges ideal for large flush fitting doors for industrial enclosures. Available in different styles.
If you’re designing a NEMA or IP cabinet, choose electrical enclosure locks and latches with the same rating. Your choice will also act as your handle, with either the key allowing you to open panel doors or a handle as part of industrial cabinet lock or latch.
IP65 quarter-turn spring latches are dust tight and help protect the equipment within the cabinet from jets of water. With six different head styles and seven grip ranges to choose from, these quarter-turn latches provide a rubber gasket for better sealing. Your choice will also act as your handle, with either the key allowing you to open panel doors or a handle as part of industrial cabinet lock or latch.
Adjustable compression latches are also rated IP65, making them suitable as an electric meter-box door latch. A compression latch is ideal not only for sealing against ingress, but also for noise isolation and vibration reduction. This adjustable compression latch is available with an offset cam lock, or you can choose flat or deep cam styles.
Mini adjustable compression latches, rated IP65, perfectly suit a small outdoor electrical cabinet, electric cable junction box or any application with limited space. With an adjustable grip range, these are supplied with a sealing gasket.
Flush cup T-Handle latch is best suited for large-door cabinet panels. Rated IP65, this recessed stainless-steel handle is ideal for hazardous environments that outdoor cable enclosures are sometimes placed in.
These lift-and-turn compression latches include key-operated swing handles and compression cam latches and have a 90˚ rotation. The slam-action spring-loaded handle consists of a low profile that tucks away when not in use. While not IP or NEMA rated, they work extremely well outside or inside. It’s ideal as a heavy-duty compression latch for outdoor telecom equipment cabinets.
Sealing gaskets create a compression seal for your cabinet door. They clip onto the panel edges to provide additional sealing to fill the space where surfaces mate. Opt for EPDM or PVC material. Both are outstanding as outdoor electrical box gaskets, protecting against the effects of weather and the shock of vibrations.
Weather stripping tape can also help seal gaps between irregular surfaces. The gasket tape made of EPDM and PVC creates superior barrier protection from moisture and air. These excellent electrical-enclosure gasket materials also resist weather and oxidation and offers conformability and flexibility at low temperatures.
Flipper gasket seals are an additional seal to enclosure boxes. Typically used on metal sheet, they clip on profiles, offering edge protection and sealing. Use a flipper gasket seal for protection from vibrations and ingress of humidity and dirt. Made of EPDM. You can also opt for a bubble gasket seal, which serves the same function but has a different shape. Also made of EPDM.
Design - Top and side panels
If you’re designing an outdoor wall-mounted data rack cabinet, you’ll only have access through the front door. Instances like these give you the rear panel to work with. You can place the components below on either the top, side or rear panels.
Fan accessories for small cabinets
You’ll need an electrical cabinet fan. Fan filters ensure that clean, filtered air cools the electronics housed by your cabinet. They keep airflow unrestricted by removing harmful particles. Stainless steel is an ideal material for a fan filter mesh sheet in outdoor applications, as it contains corrosion-resistant properties. Metal fan filters are also available.
To prevent debris from falling into your electrical-enclosure fan and causing obstruction, consider this metal fan guard made of steel. Fan guards are essential for protecting the equipment that your cabinet will house. The fan guard shown here is simple to install with a screw mount application.
Switch accessory IP65 LED illumination block emits the colour red. To be used with Essentra’s IP-rated control units in network cable junction boxes and other outdoor enclosures. Circuit arrangement type: 100-230 V AC. Also available with green LED light, yellow, white and black, rated IP50 or IP65.
Flush push button device includes operator, clip and contact block. NEMA 4, 4x, 12, 13 and IP65 when installed correctly. Oil and watertight, these switches are rated at 4amp @ 230VAC with finger-safe screw terminals. Momentary action "NO" (springs back) or maintained "NC" (stays down). Requires assembly. UL/CSA/CE approved.
Push button switches are spring loaded push-push start/stop switches rated at 10amp at 600VAC with finger-safe screw terminals. Ideal for outdoor industrial cabinets. NEMA 4, 4x, 12, 13 and IP65 when installed correctly. UL/CSA/CE approved.
Push rivets with a ribbed design, known as barbed rivets or fir tree rivets, enable fast and easy installation, securing different materials, including metal, foam, rubber and plastic. The flexible ribs deflect when placed in the hole, then springs back to lock securely in place. A suitable choice for outdoor sealed cabinets, these, plastic push rivets are available in over 100 sizes and styles for different hole diameters and panel thicknesses. Made of nylon 6/6.
Lock and flange nuts – sometimes flipped as flange and lock nuts – are a type of hex nut. The flange on the base acts as an integrated washer, spreading the load and preventing damage to the part, while also reducing the risk of the nut loosening in application. Ideal for electric cable enclosures. Made of zinc-plated mild steel.
Cage nuts are applied to square holes, commonly found on mounting rails of equipment racks. A square hole and cage nut, as a combination within rack systems allow for a choice of nut and bolt sizes. If threads are damaged the nut can be easily replaced because the sheet metal is too thin to tap or thread. Made of steel.
Cable clips for DIN rail profiles are lightweight and don’t require tools for installation. These cable clips are available in different styles and are made of nylon 6/6 to resist corrosion, oil, abrasions and most chemicals.
Wire clips should be part of your network-cabinet cable management. They come in two pieces to hold wires securely in place. The keeper bar can be adjusted to accommodate wires or removed to allow access for maintenance. Made of nylon 6/6, these wire clips are fastened to your panel using a Philips flat head machine screw.
Screw-mount cable clamp is ideal for heavy-duty applications, such as an outdoor utility cabinet. They include an eyelet in the mounting hole to help distribute the load. Available with a rib running around the inside of the cable clamp to grip the bundle, with a crimped eyelet to the leg. Also available without a rib with the eyelet protruding through the bottom hole. This screw-mount cable clamp is made of nylon and aluminium.
Fir-tree cable clamps with a hinged locking top have an internal rib spanning the diameter for a tight, secure grip. The releasable latch enables easy access for maintenance of console enclosures, while the fir-tree mount suits a range of panel thicknesses. Made of heat-stabilised nylon 6/6, this cable clamp performs in temperatures ranging from 40°C to 125°C (40°F to 257°F).
IP67 sealing grommets protect your application from dust and water. They’re ideal for an electrical cable junction box or an outdoor power socket. Made of EPDM, these IP67 Sealing grommets stand up to weather and vibrations. As electrical junction box grommets, they also serve as blanking plugs until cable is installed.
Weather-resistant cable ties are a specialised version of our standard ties, perfect for your outdoor electrical enclosure box or any outdoor cabinet. Locking, weather-resistant cable ties are UV resistant and made of nylon.
The hook and loop material easily mates together without crushing the cables being bundled. Ideal for fragile cables, such as fibre optics. Operating temperature range: -17.8˚C to 104.4˚C. Made of LDPE and nylon.
Releasable standard cable ties contain a built-in locking system to prevent accidental release. Tough and durable, these black nylon cable ties include a release clip, which also enables them to be reused.
Stainless steel cable ties resist corrosion and extreme temperatures. Installed by hand with ease, these self-locking cable ties offer strength and durability. You can see these uncoated cable ties here.
Think about locking heat-stabilised cable ties if heat is generated within your cabinet or a threat from your cabinet’s outside environment. Rated UL94 V-2, our heat-stabilised cable ties perform in harsh environments with a service temperature range of –40°C to 105°C (–40°F to 221°F).
Typically, the components that can go on your side panels can also be placed on your rear panel, as long as that panel is inaccessible. You can also consider these components:
Components for the Base of your cabinet
Cable conduit tested to the most demanding quality standards. The flexible plastic conduit for cables has a high fatigue life and high impact strength to aid in recovery if crushed. Ideal as your electrical-box sleeve. Available in nylon, PP, PE and HDPE, it is flame retardant and self-extinguishing, while resisting UV rays, solvents and oils.
A fibre-optic cabling installation provides better and faster data than installations that rely on standard copper cables. The only issue here is that fibre-optic cables are more fragile than copper cables. This is why, for example, reducing bend radius is critical. And it’s why you need good fibre cable management in place. But it’s not only about bend-radius protection or fibre-optic cable protection. Running fibre-optic cable also means you have to think about cable routing paths and ease of cable access.
Here are the components you’ll need for effective fibre-optic cable management.
Good fibre-optic cable management keeps costs under control. Use fibre bend limiting tubing to protect cable bend radius by eliminating problems such as crushing, kinking and micro-bending, while supplying an entire self-managing solution for fibre-routing management. Available in PP with excellent stability and PBT, which provides outstanding insulation. To mount, use easy-to-install snap-in clips.
Our low-profile fibre reel enables you to spool excess fibre onto a printed circuit board design. Some reels can be broken apart to form a controlled bend around a 90˚ or 180˚ turn. Your choice of screw mount or for faster installation, adhesive backed. Nylon 6/6. Flammability rating UL94 V-0.
Holds twelve 2.7 mm splices or four 4.2 mm splices. Fastens with either an adhesive pad or #4 screw. Nylon 6/6. Flammability rating UL94 V-0.
These lightweight fibre cable trays and protectors eliminate the potential hazard of macro and micro bends which can occur during the mishandling of optical fibres. The trays are stackable to any number and inter-tray fibre routing is possible. Use with splice holders, splice protectors and bend limiting tubing. The moulded-in features of the trays maintain the fibre bend radius at 30mm. Nylon 6/6.
Holds up to 24 components/splice protectors. The flexible wings grip components up to 1.6 mm in diameter, while the low profile saves space. Nylon 6/6. Flammability rating UL94 V-0. Also available: fibre clips with 16 slots. Fibre clips with fewer slots are also available.
Protects fragile fibre wires from damage. Pushes into place for fast installation, making it ideal for routing fibre. The adhesive mount provides a strong, secure hold for your outdoor fibre cabinet. Nylon. UL94 V-0.
Optical fibre coiling clips include two extruded clips which snap into each other to form a clip with a smooth, curved surface to accommodate fibre optic bundles. PVC. UL94 V-0.
Designed using miniflex technology and used at distribution points where orderly fibre management, protection and strain relief are required. An additional security feature allows fitting of a cable tie around the part which prevents removal of any retained tubes. Nylon. UL94 V-0.
Don’t forget: masking solutions
You’ll also need to consider masking solutions to protect your cabinet during manufacturing. We can help with this, too, with a complete range of solutions. Check out our wire hooks, which support hanging loads during paint or powder finishing, surface treatments, and material handling. Also, masking caps for painting and other treatments, and high-temperature masking pull plugs. We also offer a popular range of masking tape.
Download free CADs and try before you buy
Free CADs are available for most solutions. You can also request free samples on selected ranges to ensure the solutions you’ve chosen are exactly what you need. If you’re not quite sure which product will work best for your application, our experts are always happy to advise you.
Whatever your requirements, you can depend on fast despatch.
Request your free samples or download free CADs now.
Email us at email@example.com or speak to one of our experts for further information on the ideal solution for your application 0845 758 5070.
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