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    General Purpose Enclosures

    General purpose enclosures, also known as multi-purpose enclosures, electronics enclosures, electrical enclosures, and project boxes, are versatile storage devices designed to house and protect a wide range of equipment, primarily electronics.

    General multi-purpose enclosures operate by providing a protective environment for the equipment housed within them. They are typically constructed from materials such as aluminium, steel, plastic, or other durable substances, ensuring robust protection against external factors. These enclosures are used across a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, industrial automation, consumer electronics and more, ensuring reliable operation and extending the lifespan of your equipment.

    The main components of an enclosure include the body, cover, seals, and mounting hardware. The body houses the equipment, while the cover can be easily removed or secured for access and maintenance. Seals provide protection against dust, moisture, and other environmental factors, ensuring the internal components remain safe and functional. Here are some common benefits and advantages of enclosures:

    1. Protection: Certain enclosures like electronics enclosures offer excellent protection against environmental hazards such as dust, moisture, and mechanical impact. This is particularly important for sensitive electronic equipment.
    2. Versatility: Most enclosures are designed to accommodate a variety of equipment, making them suitable for numerous applications, e.g. industrial controls, electrical connections, or sensitive electronic projects.
    3. Durability: Most enclosures especially electronic project boxes are built to withstand harsh conditions and provide long-term durability.
    4. Ease of Use: General purpose enclosures are designed for easy installation and maintenance. Features like removable covers, pre-drilled mounting holes, and snap-on lids make it convenient to install and service the equipment inside.
    5. Customisation: Many enclosures can be customised with additional features such as mounting brackets, cooling fans, and cut-outs for connectors and switches. This flexibility allows users to tailor the enclosure to their specific requirements.
    6. Aesthetic Appeal: Most of the modern enclosure, particularly aluminium enclosures for electronics, are often designed with a sleek and professional appearance. This makes them suitable for use in settings like consumer electronics or display panels.

    Types of General Purpose Enclosures

    The type of enclosure you choose depends entirely on what you are using it for. Our range of general multi-purpose enclosures comes in a variety of different materials (e.g. aluminium, high-quality plastic and fibreglass), with some of these being reinforced, flame resistant and corrosion free. Our aluminium electrical enclosures are available in different types, e.g. aluminium alloy and die-cast aluminium. We also have a range of enclosures with different:

    • Gasket materials
    • Dimensions and sizes
    • Different Ingress Protection (IP) ratings, e.g. IP65, IP54 and IP66. To find out more about IP ratings, please read our detailed IP rating guide
    • Variety of colours
    • Flanged options for mounting purposes
    • Some of the electrical enclosure boxes feature ventilation, display windows and chassis plates

    Common Configurations of Electrical Enclosures

    For electrical enclosures, they are available in a variety of configurations to suit different applications and environmental conditions. Here are some key variations and configurations:

    • Body Material: Common metal materials for electrical boxes include stainless steel, aluminium, and carbon steel. Stainless steel electrical enclosure boxes offers high durability and corrosion resistance, making it suitable for harsh environments. Aluminium electrical enclosure is lightweight and also provides good corrosion resistance, especially in marine settings. On the other hand, materials such as polycarbonate and ABS plastic are popular for their lightweight and cost-effectiveness. They are generally less durable than metal enclosures for electronics, but provide adequate protection in less demanding environments. Fibreglass enclosures are also a good choice for applications requiring both strength and low weight with its strong and lightweight characteristics. However, they are less heat-resistant compared to metal options.
    • Sizes: Electrical enclosures come in various sizes to accommodate different equipment and installation requirements. They can range from small electronic project boxes to large walk-in enclosures. Dimensions such as length, height, and width vary significantly based on the application.
    • IP Rating: The Ingress Protection (IP) rating indicates the level of protection against dust and water. For example, an IP65-rated enclosure is dust-tight and protected against water jets, while an IP68 rating means the enclosure can withstand prolonged submersion in water. Higher IP ratings are essential for outdoor or harsh industrial environments.
    • Lid Colour: Enclosures can come with lids in various colours, which can be used to indicate different functions or for aesthetic purposes. Coloured lids can also help in identifying the contents or purpose of the enclosure at a glance.
    • Shielded/Unshielded: Some enclosures are designed with electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI) shielding. These shielded enclosures are essential in telecommunications and other industries where signal integrity is crucial.
    • Mounting Type: Electrical enclosures generally offer diverse mounting configurations for various needs: wall-mounted (easy access, space-saving), pole-mounted (outdoor lighting, telecom), pad-mounted (outdoor transformers, robust protection), free-standing (large-scale applications, mobility), and rack-mounted (IT, server applications, organised storage).

    Typical Applications of General Purpose Enclosures

    An enclosure can be adapted and used for multiple purposes, but their main purpose is to provide protection for electronics or other items held within the enclosure. Due to the nature of some of the enclosures and the adaptability, they can be mounted onto walls with security accessories added — making them the perfect solution to use in an environment needing an added layer of security.

    Industrial Applications of Electrical Enclosures

    Electrical enclosures are critical components in various industrial applications, providing protection and organisation for electrical and electronic systems. They safeguard sensitive equipment from environmental hazards, ensure safety for operators, and maintain system integrity. Here are some key industrial applications:

    • 1. Manufacturing Plants: Electrical enclosures in all sizes are extensively used in manufacturing facilities to house control panels, motor starters, and variable frequency drives (VFDs). These enclosures protect equipment from dust, moisture, and mechanical damage. For example, in an automotive manufacturing plant, enclosures might house the PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) that control robotic arms and assembly lines, ensuring reliable and continuous operation in a harsh industrial environment.
    • 2. Food and Beverage Industry: In this industry, the electronics enclosures must meet stringent hygiene standards. Metal enclosures for electronics like stainless steel enclosures with high IP ratings (e.g., IP69K) are commonly used to protect electrical components from washdowns and corrosive cleaning agents. These enclosures ensure that control systems for processing and packaging equipment remain operational despite frequent exposure to water and chemicals.
    • 3. Oil and Gas Industry: The oil and gas industry requires electrical enclousures that can withstand explosive atmospheres and extreme environmental conditions. For instance, explosion-proof enclosures are used to house control systems and instrumentation in refineries and offshore platforms, preventing ignition of flammable gases and ensuring the safety of personnel and equipment.
    • 4. Renewable Energy: In renewable energy installations, such as solar and wind farms, electrical enclosures protect inverters, combiner boxes, and monitoring systems from environmental factors like dust, rain, and UV radiation. For example, a pad-mounted enclosure might house the electrical components of a solar power system, protecting them from the elements and ensuring continuous energy generation.
    • 5. Telecommunications: Telecommunications infrastructure relies on electrical enclosures to protect networking equipment, power supplies, and backup batteries. Pole-mounted and rack-mounted enclosures are commonly used in telecom towers and data centres to safeguard equipment from environmental threats and provide easy access for maintenance, as well as ensuring uninterrupted communication services and protect against data loss and downtime.
    • 6. Water and Wastewater Treatment: In water and wastewater treatment facilities, electrical enclosure boxes can protect control panels and instrumentation from moisture, chemicals, and corrosive environments.

    How to Order General Multi-Purpose Enclosures from RS?

    RS is a trusted supplier and distributor of high-quality multi-purpose enclosures, e.g. aluminium or metal electrical enclosures for electronics, from top brands and electrical enclosure manufacturers like RS PRO, CAMDENBOSS, Bopla, Fibox, and Hammond. When ordering enclosures from RS, you can choose between online or offline purchasing.

    Online Orders

    • Approved Business Account Customers: Enjoy free delivery on general multi-purpose enclosure orders over $40 (excluding GST). For orders under $40, a S$10 delivery charge applies.
    • Private Accounts and Guest Customers: Free delivery for enclosure box orders over $80 (excluding GST). For orders under $80, a $12.95 delivery charge applies.

    Offline Orders (Telephone or Email)

    To place a general multi-purpose enclosure order offline, you can also contact RS Australia via 1300 656 636 (telephone) / (email).

    • Approved RS Business Account Customers: Free delivery on enclosure orders over $80 (excluding GST). A $12.95 delivery charge applies for orders under $80.
    • Private Accounts and Guest Customers: Free delivery for enclosure orders over $80 (excluding GST). For orders under $80, a $19.95 delivery charge applies.

    Business Account Customers are defined by having a valid Australian Business Number (ABN) registration number or an RS credit account. If you are not an approved RS Business Account holder, you can apply here.

    Delivery Information for Australia

    Next Working Day Delivery

    • Place your order before 5 pm AEST Monday - Friday for next working day delivery of locally stocked general multi-purpose enclosures.
    • Orders placed after 5 pm on Friday will be delivered on Tuesday.


    • Global Stock and Extended Range Products.
    • Hazardous products, items over 20 kilogrammes, or longer than 1.5 metres.
    • Some regional areas may have additional lead time restrictions.
    • Non-core products may have longer lead times.

    Same Day Delivery (Sydney Metro Orders)

    • Available for general multi-purpose enclosure orders placed Monday - Friday before 11:45 am AEST.
    • Available to all RS Business Account holders, excluding Extended Range and Calibrated Products.

    Relevant restrictions and charges apply.

    Consolidated Delivery

    Combine multiple general enclosure orders into a single delivery to reduce handling.

    Same Day Collection

    Available at our Sydney Click & Collect Counter, open Monday to Friday from 8 am – 2 pm. Call or order online and request to pick up your general multi-purpose enclosure parcel from our Sydney branch.

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