Ingress Protection - The Basics
IP ratings are ingress protection ratings according to EN IEC 60529. They have the letters ‘IP’ followed by two numbers or letters depending on the rating. As the numbers increase in value this indicates a higher rating. The ratings identify the level of access that can be obtained by solid bodies (ranging from spheres, test fingers, wire, rods or dust particles) or from liquids (dripping or spraying water). As you can see in the charts, the lower numbers relate to basic access which customers do not normally have tested. But for the higher numbers the tests can be a little more difficult to pass. The table below includes an ‘X’ in the code which shows the second numeral is not tested. Most clients choose to test two numerals and common requests are: IP66 and IP67.
IPX8, IPX9 these may be combined with IP66/67 to indicate no dust ingress (IP6X) and the enclosure also passes IPX6, X7, X8 or X9. These water ingress tests are all slightly different and the videos show the different force of water.
For IPX4 it is a forceful spray at 10 litres per minute, but the nozzle has a large number of holes like a watering can nozzle. IPX5 is like a garden hose but at 12.5 litres per minute, whereas IPX6 is more forceful at 100 litres per minute.
IPX7 is a test at 1 metre water submersion. The force of the water can press the seal surfaces together providing better sealing compared to the IPX6 water spray test, so usually clients testing to IPX7 will also include IPX6.
IPX8 is submersion in water like IPX7 but to your specified depth. Most choose 100m. Again, the force of the water against the enclosure can press the joints tighter together reducing the risk of failure. So clients usually asking for IPX8 also ask for IP66 as well, to prove it will pass the additional water spray test. IPX9 is a more recent addition and is used to represent high pressure heated jet washers such as may be found being used to clean trucks.
For the dust tests, IP5X and IP6X are the same test except to pass IP6X no dust is permitted to enter. Therefore it is sensible to apply for an IP6X test and if any dust enters an assessment can be made to determine if it will pass IP5X. Although we may venture our opinion in a test report pass or fail could be affected by installation or orientation of the enclosure in service. Therefore most aim to pass IP6X to remove doubt.
IPXX - 1ST DIGIT
|0||–||No protection against contact and ingress of objects|
|1||>50 mm||Any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part|
|2||>12.5 mm||Fingers or similar objects|
|3||>2.5 mm||Tools, thick wires, etc.|
|4||>1 mm||Most wires, slender screws, large ants etc.|
|5||Dust protected||Ingress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment.|
|6||Dust tight||No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact (dust tight). A vacuum must be applied. Test duration of up to 8 hours based on air flow.|
IPXX - 2ND DIGIT
|1||Dripping water||Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect on the specimen when mounted in an upright position onto a turntable and rotated at 1 RPM|
|2||Dripping water when tilted at 15°||Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle of 15° from its normal position. A total of four positions are tested within two axes.|
|3||Spraying water||Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect, utilizing either: a) an oscillating fixture, or b) A spray nozzle with a counterbalanced shield.
Test a) is conducted for 5 minutes, then repeated with the specimen tilted 90° for the second 5-minute test. Test b) is conducted (with shield in place) for 5 minutes’ minimum.
|4||Splashing of water||Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect, utilizing either: a) an oscillating fixture, or b) A spray nozzle with no shield.
Test a) is conducted for 10 minutes. Test b) is conducted (without shield) for 5 minutes’ minimum.
|5||Water jets||Water projected by a nozzle (6.3 mm) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.|
|6||Powerful water jets with increased pressure||Water projected in powerful jets (12.5 mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction, under elevated pressure, shall have no harmful effects. Found in DIN 40050, and not IEC 60529|
|7||Powerful water jets with increased pressure||Ingress 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).|
|8||Immersion, 1 m or more depth||The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer. 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. The test depth and/or duration is expected to be greater than the requirements for IPx7, and other environmental effects may be added, such as temperature cycling before immerson.|
|9||Powerful high temperature water jets||Protected against close-range high pressure, high temperature spray downs.
Smaller specimens rotate slowly on a turntable, from 4 specific angles. Larger specimens are mounted upright, no turntable required, and are tested freehand for at least 3 minutes at distance of 0.15–0.2 m.
There are specific requirements for the nozzle used for the testing.