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Ingress Protection (IP) and What it Means

Jul. 07, 2020

The IP Code (or International Protection Rating, sometimes also interpreted as Ingress Protection Rating*) consists of the letters IP followed by two digits and an optional letter. As defined in international standard IEC 60529, it classifies the degrees of protection provided against the intrusion of solid objects (including body parts like hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water in electrical enclosures. The standard aims to provide users more detailed information than vague marketing terms such as waterproof. 

 

The digits (characteristic numerals) indicate conformity with the conditions summarized in the tables below. For example, an electrical socket rated IP22 is protected against insertion of fingers and will not be damaged or become unsafe during a specified test in which it is exposed to vertically or nearly vertically dripping water. IP22 or 2X are typical minimum requirements for the design of electrical accessories for indoor use.

 

First Digit: Solids

 

The first digit indicates the level of protection that the enclosure provides against access to hazardous parts (e.g., electrical conductors, moving parts) and the ingress of solid foreign objects.

LevelObject size protected againstEffective against
0Not protectedNo protection against contact and ingress of objects
1>50mmAny large surface of the body, such as the back of the hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part.
2>12.5mmFingers or similar objects.
3>2.5mmTools, thick wires, etc.
4>1mmMost wires, screws, etc.
5Dust ProtectedIngress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment; complete protection against contact.
6Dust TightNo ingress of dust; complete protection against contact.

Second Digit: Liquids

Protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against harmful ingress of water.

LevelObject size protected againstEffective against
0Not protected-
1Dripping waterDripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmfull effect.
2Dripping water when tilted up to 15°Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle up to 15° from its normal position.
3Spraying waterWater falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect.
4Splashing waterWater splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.
5Water jetsWater projected by a nozzle (6.3mm) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
6Powerful water jetsWater projected in powerful jets (12.5mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
7Immersion up to 1mIngress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 m of submersion).
8Immersion beyond 1mThe equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer. Normally, this will mean that the equipment is hermetically sealed. However, with certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only in such a manner that it produces no harmful effects.


IP Rating Reference Chart

Below is an easy to follow reference chart to help you decide which IP rating you need or have.

IP NumberFirst Digit - SOLIDSFirst Digit - LIQUIDS
IP50Protected from limited dust ingress.Not protected from liquids.
IP51Protected from limited dust ingress.Protected from condensation.
IP52Protected from limited dust ingress.Protected from water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical.
IP53Protected from limited dust ingress.Protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.
IP54Protected from limited dust ingress.Protected from water spray from any direction.
IP55Protected from limited dust ingress.Protected from low pressure water jets from any direction.
IP56Protected from limited dust ingress.Protected from high pressure water jets from any direction.
IP57Protected from limited dust ingress.Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.
IP58Protected from limited dust ingress.Protected from long term immersion up to a specified pressure
IP60Protected from total dust ingress.Not protected from liquids.
IP61Protected from total dust ingress.Protected from condensation.
IP62Protected from total dust ingress.Protected from water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical.
IP63Protected from total dust ingress.Protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.
IP64Protected from total dust ingress.Protected from water spray from any direction.
IP65Protected from total dust ingress.Protected from low pressure water jets from any direction.
IP66Protected from total dust ingress.Protected from high pressure water jets from any direction.
IP67Protected from total dust ingress.Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.
IP68Protected from total dust ingress.Protected from long term immersion up to a specified pressure.
IP69KProtected from total dust ingress.Protected from steam-jet cleaning.


REFERENCES


1. IEC 60529, "degrees of Protection Provided by Enclosures (IP Codes)," Ed. 2.1 (Geneva: International Electrotechnical Commision, 2011)

 

2. IEC 60529 (Ed. 2.1), clause 4.1.

 

For more information on IP Rating please consider the following links:

 

    IEC 60529 – "Degrees of protection provided by enclosures (IP Code)"

    IEC Standards

    NEMA Enclosure Ratings

    Wikipedia Article – "IP Code"