Engineers tasked with choosing and confi guring enclosures, cabinets and shelters for offshore applications face a multitude of conflicting demands. Not only must the unit provide protection against extreme cold or extreme heat – depending on platform location – but it must also be resistant to a host of environmental and other factors, such as salt spray, sour gas, high wind velocities, UV exposure and possibly high pressure blasts. Topping out this wish list, the enclosure needs to have a robust structural integrity, a very long service life and yet weigh as little as possible – as all topside weight on off shore platforms is an expensive commodity. Many of these demands are common to all types of protective enclosure, regardless of whether they are small instrumentation housings or relatively large shelters. This article looks at some of the issues behind each category.
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