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Rugged polycarbonate cabinets challenge sheet steel and grp

Fibox has invested to produce control cabinets that exceed the specifications for sheet steel and glass reinforced models.

The UK Control Panel industry has been dominated by the use of sheet steel cabinets for decades. Sheet steel cabinets are readily easy to make. Bending and welding flat sheet is tried and tested and the results are consistently good.

However, no matter how good the paint finish is, when installed in harsh and demanding surroundings, sheet steel cabinets will corrode. Once the paint begins to lift there is no long term repair solution.


For many years the only alternative to sheet steel wall mounting cabinets was Glass Reinforced Polyester (GRP). The manufacturing process is somewhat archaic. It involves using a dough like material, or latterly a blanket of GRP which is laid into a mould and heated until it forms the shape of the enclosure. Then comes the laborious task of cleaning the sharp edges and making them look relatively presentable. GRP is not the most user-friendly material to use. It is recommended that face masks and arm protection are used when handling or machining it due to the glass fibres which are present in the surface and in the atmosphere which it is claimed can be damaging to health. GRP also has a habit of delaminating over time, exposing the glass fibres to the environment.

Fibox has invested time and money developing injection moulding techniques and tools to produce cabinets in a material which not only matches, but exceeds the specification for sheet steel and GRP.

Fibox has now produced a range of wall mounting cabinets, named ARCA IEC , which is manufactured from glass filled Polycarbonate where the glass is an integral and sealed component in the injection moulding process. One major benefit of this material is that the cabinet can be machined in situ, completely eliminating the risk of harmful conductive swarf residue or harmful fibres in the atmosphere.

The tooling used to create the ARCA IEC range of cabinets results in a product which is not only extremely robust, but also aesthetically sound. With no exposed metal parts, the cabinet can be installed in the most remote, hostile and exposed of environments without detriment. A real “fit and forget” product.

Sizes range from 300 x 200 up to 800 x 600 in portrait and landscape versions.

The design offers IP66 and an IK rating of IK10. UV stabilisation comes as standard and the cabinets withstand temperature fluctuations of -40C to +80C.

PUR gaskets seal lid to base. This means that it doesn’t matter how many times the door is opened and closed, the gasket retains it’s shape, unlike the string gaskets used in other ranges.

The ARCA range many accessories including different lock options, wall mounting and pole kits, internal locking doors and Din Rail assemblies.

The original packing is designed with enough space to enable a completed control panel incorporating cable glands, door components etc to be shipped to site using the same carton.

Fibox believes the ARCA range is the only viable alternative to sheet steel and GRP cabinets for harsh and demanding environments.

CharlotteWedelHansen has not written a bio yet…

9 Aug 2019, 8:33