Chris Lloyd explains how specialised after-market coatings can enhance an enclosure’s performance in unexpected ways.
Specifying an enclosure for your application requires an understanding of the hazards that are likely to be encountered once installed, as well as the performance requirements that will be expected.
Considerations such as tensile strength, security and ingress protection are relatively straightforward, and most well-manufactured enclosures should provide the necessary performance. But, how can an enclosure offer protection from extreme temperatures, electrical interference or any one of the thousands of other complications which can arise in industrial applications?
Rather than simply selling enclosures, Spelsberg UK has always tried to supply solutions to its customers. There is an important distinction between the two services. The first involves supplying a certain number of a certain product to a certain address. The second requires us to share our product expertise with our customers during specification, to help to find the perfect enclosure solution and recommend additional customisations bespoke to their application.
It’s through providing this second service that we have been exposed to the vast number of unique challenges experienced in enclosure specification. This, in turn, has allowed us to extend our customisation service further and offer new solutions. Very often our customers approach us with a problem that they think will require expensive and cumbersome manufacturing techniques to overcome, when in reality a specialist chemical coating may be the best solution. The range and scope of coatings that are available are staggering, and every day new developments are being made.
Spelsberg has developed a close relationship with a UK manufacture that pioneers research and development in polymer chemistry, which means that we can offer solutions which are otherwise unavailable on the market. The coatings can be applied to every enclosure within our range, no matter what the material, and are completely UV stable, waterproof and chemical resistant for long lasting performance. The company’s in-house chemists are able to manufacture new coating technology, bespoke to a customer’s specific requirements.
The possibilities really are endless. We have used specialist coatings to protect enclosures in every conceivable industry and environment; including military applications, the pharmaceutical and food production industries, and installation in arctic environments.
Electro Static Dissipation
Using the specialist coating service we can offer ESD (Electro Static Dissipation), EMI and RFI shielding which is ATEX approved. The coating works on all surfaces, including touch screens and keypads – which we can also install prior to delivery. We can also provide fire resistant and thermal resistant (preventing heat transfer into in the enclosure) coatings, as well as an ‘Ice-Phobic’ solution which prevents ice from forming in even the coldest environments.
Some of the solutions that we are able to provide are quite specific to certain industries. For example we have supplied components to the military which are Infra-Red Reflecting, in other words anti-radar. We’ve also developed a CARC coating which prevents the surface from picking up any chemical or biological particles which could be potentially harmful to human contact. Similar anti-bacterial coatings are extremely popular for use in food production and pharmaceutical applications which are hygiene critical.
We are able to supply the specialist coating solutions as part of our customisation and assembly service. This means that we can deliver the enclosures pre-coated, keeping lead times low. The service is completely flexible and we are able to adapt most of the coatings to meet the specific requirements of each individual application.
Chris Lloyd is Managing Director of Spelsberg UK.