Rack panels are accessories that form part of a standardised 19" rack. 19" racks are used to house hardware such as network servers, modems, routers, UPS's, and other electronic equipment. They are typically used when an unused section or side needs a patch up or requires blanking off, or when equipment needs to be protected from dirt and dust. They also lend a finished look to the rack unit, while allowing sufficient airflow through the inclusion of vents in the design.
Rack panels can be used in several rack configurations, but they are most popular when used with 19" racks. RS offers an extensive range of these accessories, these include leading brands such as Rittal, Schroff, Schneider Electric, and of course our own trusted brand RS PRO.
Once the rack has been built and the equipment properly housed, the rack panels can be added. They are mounted by using their flanged protruding edges, or 'ears', to fasten them to the rack frame with screws and fixings. They then provide a barrier between the equipment and the outside. Effectively, they fill the space between different modules on the rack, providing a neat professional finish.
The major difference between the different rack panels in the market is due to the materials that are being used to manufacture the rack panels. They can be made from a fibre composite, plastic, glass, or metals such as steel and aluminium. Metal rack panels are very durable, while glass rack panels allow you to look at the equipment that is mounted inside without the need to remove the panel. Plastic or fibre composite rack panels are a good all-purpose option to patch up rack frames and save cost. Some of the most popular are:
Blank rack panels for the patch up or the blanking off of unused space
Punched or perforated rack panels for mounting connectors such as XLRs or indicators, sockets, and switches
Strip panels with slots for cable entry
Rack panels should be the right size for their rack frame, which is why when you are selecting a panel for your rack, you should not brush aside the considerations of the panel's dimensions. The panels are measured in the standard unit of measure which is RU (Rack Unit) or U (Unit). A U or 1U is equal to 1.75" or 44.45mm. These sizes will be typically displayed as 1U, 2U, 3U, 4U, so on and so forth. Custom rack panel sizes are also available, however they come at an additional cost.
At RS, we stock a wide range of rack panels, in various sizes and materials. Whether you need blanking off plates to patch up the unused space or punched versions for mounting connectors and other equipment, you will find it here at RS. With our range of rack panels, you can be sure to find the right product for your set-up.