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IP Ratings Explained

IP stands for Ingress Protection and, in simple terms, refers to the protection an item offers against the intrusion of foreign bodies, i.e. dust or water.

The two numbers in each IP code refer separately to the ability to stop the ingress of solid and liquid foreign bodies. Occasionally, you might see an ‘x’ in place of one of the numbers, this signals the reader that the IP rating is only in reference to the other number, (e.g IPX4 = liquid only).

First Digit – Solid Foreign Bodies

Second Digit – Liquid Foreign Bodies

The first digit of the IP code indicates the degree that persons are protected against contact with moving parts (other than smooth rotating shafts, etc.) and the degree that equipment is protected against solid foreign bodies intruding into an enclosure.

  1. No special protection
  2. Protection from a large part of the body suchas a hand (but no protection from deliberate access); from solid objects greater than50mm in diameter
  3. Protection against fingers or other objectnot greater than 80mm in length and 12mmin diameter
  4. Protection from entry by tools, wires, etc., with a diameter of thickness greater than 1.0mm
  5. Protection from entry by solid objects with a diameter or thickness greater than 1.0mm
  6. Protection from the amount of dust that would interfere with the operation of the equipment
  7. Dust tight

Second Digit – Liquid Foreign Bodies

The second digit indicates the degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against the harmful entry of various forms of moisture (e.g. dripping, spraying, submersion, etc.)

  1. No special protection
  2. Protection from dripping water
  3. Protection from vertically dripping water
  4. Protection from sprayed water
  5. Protection from splashed water
  6. Protection from water projected from a nozzle
  7. Protection against heavy seas, or powerful jets of water
  8. Protection against immersion (up to 1 metre for 30 minutes)
  9. Protection against complete, continuous submersion in water

Submersion depth and time must be specified by the end-user. The requirement must be more onerous than IP67

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