Prolec Australia Group is one of the leading enclosure manufacturers in Australia. Prolec supplies many industries ranging from mining to logistics,
agriculture to maritime, and local government to engineering firms across Australia.
Each industry has different requirements for their enclosures, and with such a wide range of industries there is a vast range of enclosures. As such, many clients get lost and are unsure which material, finish or design they require in order to maximise their enclosure lifetime whilst complying with industry regulations.
This guide will help you make the correct choice regarding your enclosure needs.
Aluminium is a key material in today’s manufacturing industry due to its light weight, extreme malleability, heat conductivity and corrosion resistance due to its naturally occurring oxide film.
Aluminium is used for projects where weight is a large factor, where subzero temperatures are present such as in a cool room, when customisability is very specific, when aesthetics are important, and when anti-corrosion is required without the cost of additional powder coating.
Aluminium cannot be used in underground mining due to the risk of high energy impacts with steel objects causing an incendiary spark.
Aluminium is perfect for use in the maritime industry due to it’s corrosion resistance (especially when paired with a protective coating) and light weight (reducing fuel costs).
Mild Steel is a construction industry standard due to it’s low cost, and high strength, however mild steel is not suitable in environments with a medium – high chance of corrosion due to the lack of chromium that is found in stainless steel.
Mild steel is used primarily in environments where corrosion is not a large factor and where appearance is not important due to the matte finish which is partial to staining and blemishes. This is why it is largely used as a structural metal.
However, where aluminium is easily malleable – mild steel is not. Mild steel is not easily warped, dented or deformed under weight, heat or pressure, and is able to be coated with a finish to provide adequate corrosion protection.
Perfect as a low-cost option to be used in a rough environment where elements are not present.
316 Stainless Steel is the Prolec standard for enclosures due to it’s high strength, durability against corrosion, aesthetic, and ability to be used in almost all environments.
316 stainless steel is Prolec’s main material used for enclosures. It erases all the bad qualities of mild steel and of aluminium and fuses them together with the one drawback of being heavier than aluminium.
Any type of enclosure can be used in this environment depending on conditions. The enclosure selection should therefore be based on the type of equipment inside the enclosure, the IP rating, if the enclosure is likely to be knocked or easily damaged ie. around heavy machinery, and finally the temperature of the environment.
The most common enclosure for an indoor environment is a 316 Stainess Steel enclosure if there is heavy machinery around, an Aluminium enclosure with powder coating if you want something lightweight and durable, or a mild steel enclosure with powder coating if there is little risk of corrosion
If the environment contains gas or other chemicals in the air, 316 Stainless Steel is considered the best option depending on the chemicals present.
Aluminium or 316 Stainless Steel are considered the best options for indoor locations with gases and ingress due to the ability to withstand corrosion from chemicals and ingress.
These locations are typically high corrosion due to the elements so we suggest a 316 Stainless Steel build to ensure enclosure longevity. Other enclosure materials are likely to corrode and not last.
Metal enclosures along the Australian coast are often selected with the incorrect material – incorrect materials degrade quickly due to the 316 Stainless Steel is the optimal choice for longevity and safety.