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What is a NEMA Rating for Industrial Instrumentation?

  • NEMA Ratings are used to standardize electronic products to promote industry growth and advance technologies
  • With almost 1,000 Standards written, NEMA covers a wide range of categories, including enclosures for electrical equipment such as industrial instrumentation
  • NEMA Standards include information about ingress protection from water and solids along with other protective qualities

Established in 1926, NEMA, or The National Electrical Manufacturers Association, provides a forum for standardizing safety, effectiveness, and compatibility of electrical products. NEMA’s intention of standardizing electronic equipment is to grow the electronic industry as a whole and improve development of new technologies. NEMA Standards define a product, process, or procedure for electronic devices. A NEMA Rating for industrial instrumentation includes Standards for enclosures, batteries, screws, software, etc.

Unlike IP Ratings, NEMA also indicates features such as protection against external ice formation, corrosion, etc. A NEMA Standard also defines one or more of the following: nomenclature, composition, construction, dimensions, tolerances, safety, operating characteristics, performance, rating, testing, and the service for which the product is designed.

nema-ratings-for-industrial-instrumentation-ANSI-national-electrical-manufacturer-association

A NEMA Rating for Industrial Instrumentation is used to standardized products in the electronic industry for quality and safety.

NEMA Ratings for Enclosures for Electrical Equipment (≤1000 Volts) ANSI/NEMA 250-2020

This NEMA Standard, ANSI/NEMA 250-2020 provides guidelines for products such as the construction, features, applications, marking, design tests, and field modifications for enclosures for electrical equipment for general use. It also provides standards for dust-tight enclosures installed and ready for use where permitted by NEC (National Electric Code) in Class II, Division 2; Class III, Division 1; Class III, Division 2; and Zone 22 classified / hazardous locations, nonincendive electrical equipment for use in Class I and II, Division 2, and Class III, Divisions 1 and 2, classified / hazardous locations (UL 121201). Also, this NEMA Standard covers requirements for Class I; Division 1 explosion-proof enclosures marked Type 7 and Class II; Division 1 dust-ignition-proof enclosures marked Type 9.

LocationNEMA Standard
IndoorTypes 1, 2, 5, 12, 12K, 13
Indoor or OutdoorTypes 3, 3R, 3S, 3X, 3RX, 3SX, 4, 4X, 6, 6P
Classified or Hazardous AreasTypes 7 and 9
NEMA RatingIndoorOutdoorSolid Ingress ProtectionWater Ingress ProtectionOther Protective Qualities
NEMA 1yesnoaccidental contact
falling dirt
nonenone
NEMA 2yesnoaccidental contact
falling dirt
dripping
minor splashing
none
NEMA 5yesnofalling dirt
settling airborne dust
lint and fibers
flyings
dripping
minor splashing
none
NEMA 12yesnofalling dirt
circulating dust
lint and fibers
flyings
dripping
minor splashing
none
NEMA 12Kyesnofalling dirt
circulating dust
lint and fibers
flyings
dripping
minor splashing
pre-constructed knockouts
NEMA 13yesnofalling dirt
circulating dust
lint and fibers
flyings
dripping
minor splashing
oil and coolant
seepage (non-corrosive)
NEMA 3yesyesaccidental contact
falling dirt
windblown dust
rain, sleet, snowexternal ice formation
NEMA 3Ryesyesaccidental contact
falling dirt
rain, sleet, snowexternal ice formation
NEMA 3Syesyesaccidental contact
falling dirt
windblown dust
rain, sleet, snowexternal mechanisms must
be operable when ice
has formed on them
NEMA 3Xyesyesaccidental contact
falling dirt
windblown dust
rain, sleet, snowcorrosion
external ice formation
NEMA 3RXyesyesaccidental contact
falling dirt
rain, sleet, snowcorrosion
external ice formation
NEMA 3SXyesyesaccidental contact
falling dirt
windblown dust
rain, sleet, snowcorrosion
external mechanisms must
be operable when ice
has formed on them
NEMA 4yesyesfalling dirt
windblown dust
rain, sleet, snow,
splashing water, hose spray
external ice formation
NEMA 4Xyesyeswindblown dustrain, sleet, snow,
splashing water, hose spray
corrosion
external ice formation
NEMA 5yesnofalling dirt
settling airborne dust
lint and fibers
flyings
dripping
minor splashing
none
NEMA 6yesyesfalling dirthose spray
temporary submersion at
limited depth
external ice formation
NEMA 6Pyesyesfalling dirthose spray
prolonged submersion at
limited depth
corrosion
external ice formation
NEMA 7yesnoExplosion Proof: Class I, Division 1, Groups A, B, C or D hazardous locations as defined in the National Electric Code (NFPA 70)
NEMA 9yesnoDust Ignition Proof: Class II, Division 1, Groups E, F and G hazardous locations as defined in the National Electric Code (NFPA 70)
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