Avoiding track and ruin

Paul Boughton

Life by the trackside can be very tough. Fumes and brake dust can be incredibly abrasive and debris is often sent flying at extremely high speeds. When designing any external electrical application one of the first, and most vital, considerations is the choice of enclosure. It is important to think about the location of the product and any possible hazards that it may face during its lifespan.

Spelsberg’s heavy duty GRP enclosures provide effective protection against impact and corrosion for electrical and electronic controls in the harsh environments found trackside. Sealed to IP66 to protect against the ingress of dust and liquids, the GRP enclosures offer a robust construction, with innovative features such as an integral drip shield to direct liquids away from the door shield.

GRP offers ideal characteristics for heavy duty enclosures, offering a high level of rigidity at minimal thicknesses. This equates to increased protection for a wide range of housed equipment and instrumentation, but in a lightweight, ergonomically pleasing design.

Having subjected the enclosures to rigorous testing, it was found that the tough GRP and polycarbonate construction provides improved protection against knocks when compared with traditional metal enclosures. In addition they provide high IP protection, are resistant to the corrosive effect of brake dust, fumes and the weather, and afford superb electrical insulation – in turn improving safety for maintenance crews.

Working trackside will always be a dangerous place for maintenance crews and a harsh environment for equipment. Various manufacturers consider it to be their responsibility to design solutions that will make this environment as safe as possible. They have found that plastic enclosures provide significant benefits to the protection and longevity of trackside electronics. They are now committed to investing in this technology and providing complete electrical insulation at every stage on all systems.

The enclosures are available in seven standard sizes from 250 x 300 x 170mm up to 810 x 1060 x 350mm. Doors can be left or right mounted, and the hinging allows door opening to up to 240˚ for ease of access into the enclosure. Options include key locks for added security, and a stylised window door providing easy visual inspection of interior components. The window is made from impact resistant 3mm polycarbonate, permanently bonded in place to maintain the IP66 sealing.

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