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IP Ratings Explained

What is an IP Rating?

An IP (Ingress Protection) rating is a unit used to define the levels of protection an electrical enclosure offers to any contents and assemblies housed inside. This is calculated by measuring the enclosure's sealing effectiveness from any moisture or foreign bodies (tools, dust, dirt etc).

To ensure your components are sufficiently protected, it’s important to understand what each digit relates to and what IP rating you require from an enclosure. Using IP65 as an example, the first digit ‘6’ is used to define the level of protection offered from solid objects & foreign bodies, whilst the second digit ‘5’ is used to measure the level of protection offered from liquid objects & moisture.

Find out more on the different levels of protection an electrical enclosure offers below or by checking out our handy IP ratings chart here.

View IP Ratings Chart

IP ratings are defined in international standard EN 60529 (British BS EN 60529:1992, European IEC 60509:19889).

 


Levels of Ingress Protection from Solid Objects in an Enclosure

The quality of protection an electrical enclosure offers against solid objects and foreign bodies is denoted by a number between 0 – 6 and is read as the first digit following the letters IP, such as the number ‘6’ in the example ‘IP65’.

Understanding the degree of protection required from solid objects for an assembly is crucial, not just to ensure the assembly remains unaffected, but also for personal protection as well (such as accidentally touching a live wire with a finger).

 

Ingress ProtectionIngress protection from solid objects is shown as the first letter following IP

X – No specified degree of protection
0 – No protection against solid objects
1 – Protection against a solid object greater than 50mm (e.g. a hand)
2 – Protection against a solid object greater than 12.5mm (e.g. a finger) 
3 – Protection against a solid object greater than 2.5mm (e.g. a screwdriver)
4 – Protection against a solid object greater than 1mm (e.g. a wire, insects)
5 – Dust protected with limited ingress permitted. Shouldn’t interfere or harm any equipment inside.
6 – Dust tight with no ingress permitted

 


Levels of Ingress Protection from Liquid Objects in an Enclosure

The quality of protection an electrical enclosure offers against liquid objects is denoted by a number between 0 – 9 and is read as the second digit following the letters IP, such as the number ‘5’ in the example ‘IP65’.

Moisture can be detrimental to an assembly, so make sure your enclosure is well suited for the environment it will be used for. We recommend using a weatherproof enclosure (Rated IP56 or higher) for any outdoor applications.

 

Ingress ProtectionIngress protection from liquid objects is shown as the first letter following IP

X – No specified degree of protection
0 – No protection against liquid objects
1 – Protected against vertically falling drops of water with limited ingress permitted.
2 – Protected against vertically falling drops of water when tilted to 15° from vertical with limited ingress permitted
3 – Protected against sprays of water when titled to up to 60° from vertical with limited ingress permitted for three minutes
4 – Protected against water splashed from all directions with limited ingress permitted
5 – Protected against jets of water with limited ingress permitted
6 – Protected against harmful quantities of water from heavy seas or powerful jets with limited ingress permitted
7 – Protected against full immersion in water, between 15cm-1m for 30 minutes
8 – Protected against full immersion in water with higher pressure for long periods of time.
9K – Protected against higher pressure and high temperature water jets