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Metals vs Plastics – Enclosures Differences

Buckeye Shapeform

Knowing the difference and benefits of metal enclosures can outweigh the costs resulting in a superior material with long-term reliability.

Being cost-effective is an alternative small or new businesses may have to take when starting out. Having the knowledge and knowing the difference in the enclosure material will help avoid catastrophic system collapse and production downtime. Knowing the benefits of metal material enclosures vs. plastic enclosures can save in maintenance costs and customer loss.

All types of enclosures protect controls in a variety of applications. The benefits of metal material enclosures outweigh the costs, prove more durable and are safe for the environment. The main benefits of metal enclosures over plastic enclosures are durability, strength and the ability to withstand impact.

Carbon steel enclosures used in outdoor application have an initial low cost, are proven durable and survive in the harshest environments for years. Only in rare incidents have the stainless steel film on enclosures been reported to fail. Sudden impact damage is known only to dent the carbon steel enclosures, not crack or break as a plastic enclosure may sustain heavy damage causing system collapse with production downtime.

Stainless steel enclosures are proven corrosion resistant due to the material known as Chromium, which when in contact with oxygen provides a barrier film, protecting the unit from corrosion. Plastic enclosures survive in specific environments and although durable, damage can easily happen.

The additional benefits of metal enclosures include these considerations:

  • Failure is measured by strength and resistance
  • The ability to uphold to sudden impacts and damage benefits the specifier
  • Not as susceptible to ultraviolet exposure and weathering damage
  • Provides protection in the most extreme applications, protecting valuable equipment

The benefits of durable metal enclosures outweigh costs in long-time reliability and maintenance cost reduction. Not every application requires metal based units, smaller applications are cost-effective with plastic models.

Specifiers need to have common knowledge of material benefits. Buckeye Shapeform serves a wide range of needs, delivers custom designs and has the experience and knowledge in enclosures that specifiers need to make the right decisions. Buckeye Shapeform features custom XPAND-A aluminum enclosures and SM series sheet metal enclosures, plus staffing experts to help spec out any needs or address any concerns.