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What is Ingress protection (IP)?

Ingress protection ratings or IP ratings, refer to the level of protection offered by an electrical enclosure, against solids and liquids.

In an environment where dust or water could damage electronic components, a sealed enclosure is used to prevent such ingress and safe house the electronics.

They are commonly used for applications which may be exposed to the elements, as well as dust or moisture. Typical industries include marine, offshore oil and gas platforms, security, lighting, leisure, food processing and more.

IP Ratings Explained

The letters ‘IP’ are always followed by two numerals which indicate the degree of protection offered, according to the British Standard BS EN 60529:1992 (as listed below).

E.g. IP67 - The first digit (6) represents the protection against solid objects and the second number (7), against water. So an IP67 enclosure completely prevents ingress of dust (6) and protects against temporary immersion in water for up to 1 metre for 30 minutes (7).

Protection against solid objects
0 – No protection/ No test required
1 – Protected against objects greater than 50mm diameter
2 – Protected against objects greater than 12.5mm diameter, such as a finger
3 – Protected against objects greater than 2.5mm
4 – Protected against objects greater than 1.0mm such as wire
5 – Ingress of dust is not totally prevented but dust does not enter in harmful quantities to interfere with the correct operation or impair safety
6 – No ingress of dust permitted

Protection against water
0 – No protection / No test required
1 – Protected against falling drops of water
2 – Protected against drops falling at 15° in 4 fixed positions
3 – Low pressure spray – similar to shower head at up to 60° from vertical tested using an oscillating tube with an arc of 60° for ten minutes
4 – Low pressure spray – similar to shower head – as per numeral 3 but 180° for 10 minutes
5 – Medium pressure jet – 6.3mm diameter, similar to garden hose – from any angle for 3 minutes at a distance of 2.5-3 metres.
6 – High pressure jet – 12.5mm diameter, similar to fire hose – from any angle for 3 minutes at a distance of 2.5-3 meters.
7 – Immersion – for temporary immersion in water under set conditions – 1 metre for 30 minutes
8 – Protected against the effects of continuous immersion in water, ingress of water in quantities causing harmful effects shall not be possible. Conditions should be more severe than for numeral 7.
9 – Steam clean, high pressure, high temp jet wash to DIN40050 (German Std), extends BS EN 60529:1992

IP Enclosures at Deltron

At Deltron Enclosures, we can offer IP54 enclosures, which are suited to light duty environments that may require some level of protection from dust.

For more demanding applications, we also manufacture IP66 and IP68 enclosures. These are suited to industries mentioned previously in this article, where the applications are located in tough environments and therefore ingress protection is a priority.

In addition, our IP66 and IP68 enclosures are available in a heavy duty version for a durable enclosure. They are often used for deep water applications, or when the engineer requires resilient casing for the electronic components.

Related articles: Four considerations when choosing an electronic enclosure
Selecting the right enclosure for the job


Article first published : 8|7|2015