Tag Archives: Electrical Enclosure

Is it Possible that Electronics Enclosure Can Get Too Cold – Plastic Hypothermia

Electrical Enclosure, Electronics Enclosure, Electrical Boxes, Plastic Hypothermia,

I am going to share one of my well kept secrets with you – one of my favorite TV show of all time is the Dual Survival on the Discovery Channel. To back up the story a little bit, I will give you a very short overview. There is this tag-team duo that is composed of an ex-military sniper. His name is David. And there is this one guy that is barefoot wasteland hippie and he was named Cody. For the story, this man wears no shoes ever. These two young gentlemen travel to the most remote parts of the world. The show aims to tell the viewers regarding the various survival techniques that can be used under extreme environmental conditions.

What I really liked about this show is that it educates the viewers what to do if in case these type of crazy scenario happens. At least we have an idea right?

In one of their new episodes, the duo team has a new adventure. They take on two ranchers that are being stranded on the Northern Great Plains in Montana during the worst winter ever. The tag team thought of something. They decided to ramp up the defense from the very cold winter by wearing a pair of socks in this episode I am talking about. But Cody still remains shoe less of course. The irony! I found myself gawking in disbelief while I was watching. I was thinking to myself that this guy is crazy!

With this type of weather, I guess my feet would literally snap off my legs! That is totally crazy right! This extreme weather often reminds me of the question I usually encounter when a company purchases an electronics enclosure. Can a plastic enclosure endure extreme cold weather? Or how cold is too cold for your electronics enclosure? On one hand, this question is reasonable right? If an electronics enclosure can withstand high temperature, how is it performing when it comes to withstanding cold temperatures?

Let us explain.

If an electronics enclosure, is made from steel I guess there would be no much of a problem. However, if the electronics enclosure is made from plastic, there are some things you need to keep in mind. The minimum temperature plastic used for manufacturing the enclosure can withstand does not have a specific cutoff temperature point. According to some of the plastic material supplier, the ABS plastic seems that it can handle temperatures around -20 to -30 degrees Celsius.

Knowing that the temperature can drop off that drastically is crazy right? In order for this to maintain a somewhat safety factor, companies manufacturing plastic enclosures does not recommend using the ABS plastic below 0 degrees F (-17 degrees C). 

In reality, this totally depends on what type of enclosure is now being physically exposed at some certain temperatures. The cold temperatures can bring about significant impact or damage on some parts that are being exposed to some vibration or bad impact. Some of the parts that are exposed to some of these conditions might incur cracking at low temperatures.