A distribution box is a key component of an electrical supply system. From a single, common enclosure, it helps divide an electrical power main feed into multiple subsidiary outgoing connections that can be used to provide electrical connections to individual homes, buildings or for other requirements.
Due to their application in electrical systems, the material compositions of distribution boxes have performance requirements that need to be met in order for the box to be compliant to Axis quality control and customer requirements. The major requirements are as follows:
- Flame retardant with glow wire flammability Index at 9600C as per IEC 60695 to ensure that any flame outside the box cannot enter inside and damage equipment and also to prevent any flame within the box from propagating.
- The material should sustain a 2kV current for one minute without damage so that the box can withstand surge voltages.
- The material should be heat resistant at 700C and resistance to tracking at 175V.
- The material should be mechnically strong so that the box does not crack or get other damage due to impact.
The three most popular materials used for electrical distribution boxes are thermoset plastics such as engineering thermoplastics such as Polycarbonate (PC) and Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate (ASA), Sheet Molding Compounds (SMC), and Epoxy Coated Steel used to make Metallic Deep Drawn Boxes.
When comparing the material properties of SMC, PC and epoxy coated steel; there are a few differences between the materials that quickly become apparent. There are several factors which lead to SMC seeming unfavourable compared to the other materials:
- The non-recyclability of SMC as opposed to the other materials means that it has a bigger environmental impact and it also leads to higher production costs because rejected items cannot be recycled and reused.
- The weight of an SMC box is also the highest amongst the three options which leads to increased transportion and product cost.
- Post-processing which is only required for SMC leads to higher product costs.
- An uneven finish for the SMC box can look aesthetically unpleasant.
- SMC also has the lowest impact strength as compared to the other materials.
Taking the material properties into account, it becomes clear that engineering thermoplastics such as Polycarbonate (PC) and Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate (ASA) are the best materials for low voltage distribution applications. Metallic deep drawn boxes made from epoxy coated steel are also a good option for these distribution boxes.
Axis has supplied a wide range of electrical distribution boxes that can be used in various low voltage applications to projects across the country. With distribution boxes made from PC, ASA, SMC or metallic deep drawn, Axis provides the best technical support to all our customers’ low voltage distribution requirements.
Axis Electrical Components (I) Pvt Ltd