An IP rating is a system that is used to define the levels of sealing effectiveness, or the degree of protection an object has against intrusion from foreign bodies (tools, dirt etc) and moisture (level of water resistance). An IP (or Ingress Protection) rating is defined in international standard EN 60529 (British BS EN 60529:1992, European IEC 60509:1989).
How is the IP Rating System Used?
The IP rating system is used to clarify the capabilities of enclosures instead of using ambiguous terms like ‘dust proof’ or ‘waterproof’. The IP code is made up of a combination of two numbers, the first number is the ingress protection against solid objects, and the second number specifies ingress protection against liquids for example IP68.
See below for clarification of IP rated enclosures can withstand:
First number = intrusion against solids
- Protected against solid objects up to 50 mm
- Protected against solid objects up to 12 mm
- Protected against solid objects over 2.5 mm such as tools and small wires
- Protected against solid objects over 1 mm such as tools and small wires
- Protected against dust – limited ingress permitted (no harmful deposit)
- Totally protected against dust
Second Number = intrusion against liquids
- Protected against vertically falling drops of water
- Protected against direct sprays of water up to 15° from the vertical
- Protected against sprays up to 60° from vertical
- Protected against water sprays from all directions-limited ingress permitted
- Protected against low-pressure water jets from all directions-limited ingress permitted
- Protection against strong water jets and waves
- Protected against temporary immersion
- Protected against prolonged effects of immersion under pressure
Which IP Rating Should I Use for my Enclosure?
Which IP rating you use for your enclosure will depend on how and where your plastic enclosure or casing will be used. This will determine the degree of weatherproofing needed and the level of IP rating required. Often outdoor electronic housing units will specify a minimum IP rating of IP65, IP66/67 or possibly IP68 depending on the application.
We offer a range of water-resistant enclosures and work closely with our clients to ensure our custom enclosures are suitably weatherproof or waterproof for their requirements as well as using UV stable materials. FYI we are able to produce outdoor enclosures that can withstand the harshest of environments. They are used for everything from mesh networks to oil rigs and even underwater cameras. To find out more about our IP rated enclosures click here.
We hope you find this overview useful. And to find out more about any points raised in this article please contact us.