New junction box design from Hawke International improves wiring safety in demanding environments

Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials

ISSN: 0003-5599

Article publication date: 1 August 2004




(2004), "New junction box design from Hawke International improves wiring safety in demanding environments", Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials, Vol. 51 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

New junction box design from Hawke International improves wiring safety in demanding environments

New junction box design from Hawke International improves wiring safety in demanding environments

Keywords: Offshore engineering, Petrochemical industry, Wiring, Hawke International

Wiring junction boxes in demanding offshore and petrochemical environments is now much easier due to a radical new design by Hawke International. Their new EExe II 2GD IP66 rated EZ (easy-wire) enclosure will save time and increase wiring safety. After listening to the comments of installation engineers and inspectors, the company has developed a two-part lidded enclosure that gives better access for faster installation, easier inspection and on-site modification. The design also safeguards the enclosure's durability and ingress protection by shielding the seals from the effects of the surrounding environment.

Conventional enclosures suffer several drawbacks that greatly undermine productivity. There is limited space within them to manipulate and terminate the conductors. Access lids, secured by several bolts, are awkward to remove and are not always refitted correctly – leading to inadequate compression of the sealing gasket. Saltwater, chemicals, cleaning fluids and debris accumulate on the horizontal surfaces and may eventually cause corrosion or damage to exposed seals.

The new EZ enclosure overcomes these problems. It has a solid back plate and base frame with a removable clamshell style lid. Cable access is through the base of the unit, via a clip-in quick release gland plate, which is secured by just two easily accessible fixing bolts. Models can have one, two or three gland panels depending on the desired capacity of terminals or cable entries. When pre- drilled at the factory, gland plates are fitted with tamperproof EExe quick-fit stopping plugs that can only be removed from inside the cabinet. Alternatively, blank gland plates can be fitted for drilling on site. Cable entries can be sealed with the appropriate Hawke cable gland according to the type of cable or installation area.

Inside the cabinet, removable brackets hold the terminals, din rails, or instrumentation away from the back plate to make assembly and under wiring an easy task. For access, the single-piece lid is hinged to allow vertical opening and secured in place by a retaining prop. This gives the electrician full access from the front and side, with the open lid also acting as a temporary weather-shield while the enclosure is being wired, inspected or modified.

When closed, the lid overlaps the base unit protecting it from weather, offshore deluge systems or wash down cleaning. Silicone compression gaskets, concealed behind the lid, provide ultimate sealing in temperatures from –40°C to +80°C. The gaskets are not directly exposed to the environment so saltwater, chemicals, UV light, cleaning fluids and debris cannot attack them. To prevent water pooling on the surface, the tops of all enclosures are angled. A channel captures and stops any remaining water droplets from entering the enclosure when the lid is opened.

EZ boxes are engineered for extended use in harsh and hazardous environments. Cabinets are manufactured in 316L stainless steel with an optional electro polished surface for additional resistance to weather, salt spray and chemical attack. Installation to walls or bulkheads is by strong welded mounting lugs. Units can be secured by the use of a padlock, while an optional holder on the front panel allows a Traffolyte label to be inserted and fixed for enclosure/circuit identification. However, unlike other manufacturers, Hawke's identification labels are not riveted to the enclosure lid and can be retrofitted at site. This provides the flexibility of on site labelling and protects the integrity of the enclosure by avoiding unnecessary rivet holes.

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