In the rolling door industry, there are many acronyms tossed about. With so many options to consider in your building design or when choosing an upgrade for your facility’s security closure or associated accessories, it can be helpful to have a back-to-basics guide. That’s why we serve up relevant content on our blogs – to help pin down those pesky acronyms and provide general (and even in-depth) knowledge on all things rolling security closure related.
Take a few of the blogs below as an example:
This week, we’d like to cover the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and NEMA types for security closures.
Let’s jump in.
NEMA stands for National Electrical Manufacturers Association. Founded in 1926 and headquartered in Rosslyn, Virginia, NEMA is the largest trade association of electrical equipment manufacturers in the U.S.
NEMA is an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) –accredited Standards Developing Organization comprised of “business leaders, electrical experts, engineers, scientists, and technicians” according to their website. NEMA represents 370,000 American manufacturing workers and nearly 325 electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers that make safe, reliable, and efficient products and systems across all 50 states.
With over 700 electrical and medical imaging standards and technical whitepapers covering a plethora of member products, NEMA is a strong supporter of the standards they create, since they “play a key part in the design, production, and distribution of products destined for both national and international commerce.”
NEMA is a commonly used acronym in the rolling door industry – it is used frequently when referring to a rating for an operator, control station, or other electrical components.
NEMA does not actually manufacture or test products, but they do establish the performance criteria for enclosures intended for specific environments. This is where the NEMA types for enclosures come into play.
A NEMA type describes what environment the enclosure complies within, not how it must be manufactured. You will often see two NEMA types separated with a slash ( / ), which means the enclosure must meet the requirements for both classifications. We’ve outlined some of the most common NEMA types within the rolling door industry below:
NEMA 1: This is the most common type because it refers to a general purpose environment. For example, the closure will offer protection against dust, light, and indirect splashing – but it is not dust tight. The primary function of this type of closure is to prevent contact with live parts. A NEMA 1 type enclosure is used indoors and under normal environmental conditions.
NEMA 3R: This type is weather resistant. For example, NEMA 3R enclosures help to protect against falling dirt and weather hazards – such as rain, sleet, snow, and the formation of ice, but are not rain-tight (meaning exposure to beating rain could result in water entering a 3R type under certain conditions). Because of these protections, NEMA 3R enclosures are acceptable for outdoor use. All of the above applies to a 3R type closure with the exception of windblown dust.
NEMA 4: NEMA type 4 is known as a weather tight (weatherproof) enclosure. This type can be used where an occasional washdown occurs or where machine tool cutter coolant is used. It can also serve in applications where a pressurized stream of water is used. This type of enclosure is gasketed and the door is clamped for maximum sealing. NEMA type 4 enclosures can be used indoors or out.
NEMA 4X: This type of enclosure is typically made of stainless steel or aluminum. NEMA 4X enclosures are known as corrosion-resistant, which means they are “constructed to provide a degree of protection against exposure to corrosive agents such as salt spray.” An enclosure labeled as this type can be used in demanding applications.
NEMA 12: This type of enclosure must meet drip, dust, and rust resistance testing to fall under this classification, and is recommended for indoor use.
For more details regarding NEMA types, visit the NEMA Enclosures blog: https://www.nemaenclosures.com/blog/nema-ratings-buying-guide-for-type-1-3r-4-4x-12-differences/.
All NEMA types above provide a degree of protection against incidental contact with the enclosed equipment and falling dirt. Otherwise, each enclosure type is required to perform a function specific to its environment to protect electrical components. Please reach out to your manufacturer or distributor when searching for a NEMA operator best suited to your needs.
At CornellCookson, we offer NEMA type products to meet your enclosure needs, including:
Explore our full portfolio of compact motor operators, designed to fit into your required coil space and manufactured to your specifications here: CornellCookson Motor Operators
Our Architectural Design Support Team looks forward to assisting you with your NEMA-related product or requirement questions.