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Electrical Enclosures: What is NEMA 4?

NEMA 4 Definition with General Reference Applications  

Different industrial companies require different types of needs for protection of their pieces of equipment from the hazardous potential dangers such as extreme weather conditions and ingress of foreign objects. This requires an electrical enclosure that gives protection from the said industrial hazards. However, not all enclosures are the same because different needs require different types of enclosures. NEMA 4 electrical enclosures are one good example.  

NEMA 4 Level of Protection 

All type 4 NEMA enclosures give a different level of protection for electrical equipment. NEMA 4 is made from corrosion-resistant materials and most of these types of enclosures are made from stainless steel and aluminum. NEMACO™ also manufactures NEMA 4 enclosures made from carbon steel. It is important to note that this type of enclosure cannot be submerged in water and this requires a different type of enclosure. Stainless steel is widely used in manufacturing NEMA 4 electrical enclosure. (CHEER NEMA 4 doesn’t have an ability to protect from corrosion, therefore Stainless steel is used to produce NEMA 4X or NEMA 6P) 

NEMA 4 General Features 

This electrical enclosure provides protection for the following: 

  • Protection from moisture 

NEMA 4 enclosures are required to be tight to prevent water ingress. But these enclosures cannot be not submerged in water. 

  • Prevents corrosion –> This is not NEMA 4(CHEER) 

This type of enclosure houses electrical equipment that needs to be protected from unexpected corrosion because of exposure to rainwater, extreme weather conditions, and hazardous fluids. 

  • Protection from ice formation 

For applications where there is a need for protection from ice formation, NEMA 4 is the perfect fit for this type of need. 

  • Dust protection 

NEMACO™ offers NEMA 4 enclosures that have special features to provide tight-sealed protection for electrical equipment from dust. 

  • Ingress of any foreign objects 

Type 4 NEMA enclosures provide protection for the electrical equipment from foreign substances that may affect or damage the equipment. 

  • Protection for personnel using the electrical equipment 

NEMA 4 enclosures provide protection for personnel using electrical equipment.  

NEMACO types of NEMA 4 Enclosures: Box and Cabinet Styles  

  • Indoor & Outdoor NEMA Floor Mounted Cabinets  
  • Indoor & Outdoor NEMA Wall Mounted Enclosures  
  • Indoor & Outdoor Electrical Wiring Boxes, Junction Boxes and Pull Boxes  
  • Electrical Wiring Trough Enclosures  
  • Custom Wall Mounted NEMA Rated Electrical Consoles  
  • NEMACO™ Rugged Industrial Computer Cabinets  
  • NEMACO™ Air Conditioned (AC) Cooled Indoor & Outdoor Enclosures  

NEMA 4 Materials 

NEMACO™ manufactures NEMA 4 enclosures with high standard & quality carbon steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. Each of the raw materials has specific and unique qualities that make an enclosure efficient based on the application. The different materials show several characters and capabilities that make NEMA 4 enclosures unique and specifically suited for certain environments and applications. Determining which material is best suitable for an enclosure is vitally important because this will determine how efficient your enclosure would be. 

NEMA 4 Quality Assurance 

All electrical enclosures manufactured by NEMACO™ are made in compliance with NEMA standards. You can be sure that we will only give the best quality enclosures to our customers. NEMACO™ enclosures manufacture quality UL rated electrical and instrument enclosures that are based on your specific requirements and we can offer you good lead times in delivering electrical enclosures. Rest assured that you will be confident that our company will deliver and customize electrical enclosures according to your needs.  

Carbon Steel 

Carbon steel compared to other raw material steels has a higher carbon content, including iron and manganese. Carbon steel as an electrical enclosure material is considered to be one of the widely and known used material steel because compared to other steels available, it has many functions and advantages that includes in its efficiency. Carbon steel is malleable, therefore it can be melted and can be turned into different specific shapes. 

There are generally four types of carbon steel according to these categories: low or mild steel, medium steel, high steel, and ultra high steel.  

Low steel contains lower content of carbon among all other types of carbon steel. This type of carbon steel is easier to form a shape and this is the most affordable compared to other types of metals. It is commonly used in manufacturing equipment for construction purposes. Despite the advantages, it has low strength and durability because of the lower carbon content.  

Medium steel is another type of carbon steel which is resistant to longer use or wear and tear. Compared to low steel, this is more durable and stronger. Medium steel is commonly used in producing large metal structures and automotive accessories such as axles, shafts, couplings and other materials applicable to this industry.  

High steel is one of the strongest carbon steel ever known because it has a high steel variety. It is generally used in producing high strength springs and wires.  

Ultra high steel is a carbon steel type which is very formal but strongly recommended to use in manufacturing knives and axles. These types of carbon steel, metals are used in the production of various types of industrial tools and machines. Ultra high steel carbons are used extensively in producing different cutting tools, drill bits, and knives because these types of tools require strong but very flexible material.  


Aluminum performs well in harsh, high-temperature, demanding environments and that makes it a very suitable raw material for NEMA 3R enclosures. The types of enclosures needed for this harsh environment should be strong and durable – these are the characteristics found in aluminum. In addition to this, aluminum is lightweight and provides corrosion resistance to rainwater, hazardous fluids & compounds such as hydrogen sulfide, and high heat dissipation because of its exceptional heat conduction metal characteristic.  

Stainless Steel 

NEMACO™ produces electrical enclosures made from stainless steel, this metal is widely known for having tough, corrosion-resistant properties. Any application that requires enclosures to have good corrosion-resistant properties requires stainless steel enclosures. Our company has the capability to build custom-sized stainless steel electrical enclosures or you can always choose our standard sizes.  

Additional NEMA 4 Accessories and Customization 

Usually, NEMACO™ manufactures enclosures that have continuous hinges, mounting feet and (sometimes) padlock hasps for optimum & efficient use of enclosures. NEMA 4 enclosures are available in different & several sizes from small wall mount to two-door floor mount enclosure models. Contact us to accommodate you for customization needs.  

NEMA 4 Enclosure Summary  

NEMA 4 electrical enclosures are used in industrial applications where occasional wash down of water happens or when there is a need for cutter coolant to be sprayed on the machine tool. In addition to this, the NEMA 4 enclosure is best suited for applications where there is a possible water dripping in a building. NEMA 4 enclosures should have a quality seal gasket to prevent unexpected water ingress and the door of this enclosure are generally clamped for tight and maximum sealing. NEMACO™ install stick gaskets and continuous seals on enclosures depending on the size of the enclosure.