Could you tell me the difference between polystyrene and polycarbonate enclosures please?
At first glance it might be hard to tell the difference between a polystyrene enclosure and a polycarbonate enclosure – apart from the cost of course. Despite visual similarities, the two materials offer extremely different performance levels so it’s always worth making sure you specify correctly.
Firstly, let’s look at the similarities. Both are plastic, so they are resistant to rust and corrosion and won’t dent – unlike metal. They are also both halogen free, which is an important consideration for any application where a fire could lead to people being exposed to harmful fumes.
The differences start to appear when you look at tensile strength and impact resistance. Polystyrene is stronger than budget materials (like PVC); it can withstand knocks and offers fair cable retention. Polycarbonate, however, is another level above that and would be recommended for applications where heavy impact is likely i.e. Road Tankers.
Polycarbonate also offers greater UV protection and resistance to temperature changes, making it a better choice for external installation or for use in applications where the enclosure is likely to be exposed to fluctuating temperatures – such as being used as a drive control housing.
You can find more information on enclosure materials here
Spelsberg sees the merits in both materials, in fact many of our best-selling enclosure ranges are available in either material as standard, including the A-box.
You can use our Product Finder to see our complete material selection. If you’re unsure which material is best for you then give me a call and I can help you find the best choice.