Enclosures for electronics come in a variety of types, with each one being ideal for certain projects and purposes. Selecting the proper enclosure can appear to be a complex endeavour, particularly when one is dealing with a large project, so the following guide is being provided to help electronics users and enthusiasts select the correct option for the application they have in mind:
Cabinet racks: Floor-mounted cabinet racks are among the largest of all available enclosures for electronics, usually having a 19”, 23”, or 24” wide panel space. They are available in a range of styles to suit various applications, but in general, they are selected for situations where rack-mountable equipment needs to be housed in an environment that is both secure and suitable for its safe operation. They give the option of a controlled environment where equipment can be kept properly cool through the use of ventilation systems and fans, making these ideal enclosures for electronic equipment which operates at high power. Their lockable doors make them ideal for housing expensive equipment.
Server and Co-location racks: These enclosures are ideal for very high-powered electronics which have ventilation needs that cannot be served by a standard cabinet rack. Their side panels and doors are extensively ventilated. Co-location racks provide the additional feature of having separate and secure individual compartments which are generally available in a variety of heights, with each compartment having its own lockable door.
Seismic racks: As the name suggests, these enclosures for electronics are designed with seismic protection in mind, providing a safe buffer against shock or vibration. The need for these racks goes beyond just earthquake zones; they are necessary when one plans to operate electronic equipment aboard trucks, ships, and other large vehicles. In order to be operated securely, they must be anchored to the floor of the vehicle or building in which they are being used.
Open frame racks: These racks are reserved for situations where one requires both maximum cooling and immediate access to all sides of the equipment. Naturally, these racks are not secure in any way, so if you are concerned about security, they are best used in rooms that may be locked. These racks are available in large floor-mounted and smaller wall-mounted or desktop versions.
Wall mount cabinet enclosures: These provide a mid-sized, cost-effective alternative to the large specialised enclosures described above; if your equipment needs are modest and your project is unlikely to increase in size in the future, these enclosures will generally suffice. Wall mount cabinet enclosures are available with double-hinged split cabinets which open like a book, giving the user access to rear panels and also making available multiple layers of rack mounting space. These enclosures also typically have lockable doors.
Rack mount chassis: Another mid-sized type of enclosure setup, rack mount chassis allow for the assembly of a range of different enclosure styles for rack-mountable equipment and instruments. These go well with the use of portable equipment, and they often have detachable handles, rack mounting brackets, and other hardware.