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What is an International Protection (IP) rating?

For PowerLogic Meter IP ratings, please see RESL188587
The IP Code (or International Protection Rating,[1] 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.[2] 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. Where there is no protection rating with regard to one of the criteria, the digit is replaced with the letter X.

Solids, first digit

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.


Level
Object size protected against
Effective against
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, screws, 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; complete protection against contact
6
Dust tight No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact
Liquids, second digit

Protection of the EQUIPMENT inside the enclosure against harmful ingress of water.[3]

Level
Protected against
Testing for
Details
0
Not protected — —
1
Dripping water Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect. Test duration: 10 minutes

Water equivalent to 1mm rainfall per minute

2
Dripping 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. Test duration: 10 minutes

Water equivalent to 3mm rainfall per minute

3
Spraying water Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect. Test duration: 5 minutes

Water volume: 0.7 litres per minute
Pressure: 80–100 kN/m²

4
Splashing water Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect. Test duration: 5 minutes

Water volume: 10 litres per minute
Pressure: 80–100 kN/m²

5
Water jets Water projected by a nozzle (6.3mm) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects. Test duration: at least 3 minutes

Water volume: 12.5 litres per minute
Pressure: 30 kN/m² at distance of 3m

6
Powerful water jets Water projected in powerful jets (12.5mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects. Test duration: at least 3 minutes

Water volume: 100 litres per minute
Pressure: 100 kN/m² at distance of 3m

7
Immersion up to 1 m 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). Test duration: 30 minutes

Immersion at depth of 1m

8
Immersion beyond 1 m The 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. Test duration: continuous immersion in water

Depth specified by manufacturer


NEMA Rating Corresponding with IP rating

IP Code
Min. NEMA Enclosure rating to satisfy IP Code
IP20 1
IP54 3
IP65 4, 4X
IP67 6
IP68 6P

The table above indicates the minimum NEMA rating that satisfies a given IP code, but can only be used in that way, not to map IP to NEMA.[5]North American enclosure rating systems are defined in NEMA 250, UL 50, UL 508, and CSA C22.2 N°. 94.

For example, the PM800 series meter display has an IP rating of 52. Thus, it is Dust protected and can withstand Dripping water when tilted up to 15°.

NOTE: Below are some additional number for more specific applications.


Additional letters

The standard defines additional letters that can be appended to classify only the level of protection against access to hazardous parts by persons:

Level
Protected against access to hazardous parts with
A
Back of hand
B
Finger
C
Tool
D
Wire

Further letters can be appended to provide additional information related to the protection of the device:


Letter
Meaning
H
High voltage device
M
Device moving during water test
S
Device standing still during water test
W
Weather conditions

Mechanical impact resistance

An additional number has sometimes been used to specify the resistance of EQUIPMENT to mechanical impact. This mechanical impact is identified by the energy needed to qualify a specified resistance level, which is measured in joules (J). This has now been superseded by the separate IK number specified in EN 50102.

Although dropped from the 3rd edition of IEC 60529 onwards, and not present in the EN version, older enclosure specifications will sometimes be seen with an optional third IP digit denoting impact resistance. Newer PRODUCTS are likely to be given an IK rating instead. However there is not an exact correspondence of values between the old and new standards.


Dropped IP level
Impact energy
Equivalent drop mass and height
0
— —
1
0.225 J 150 g dropped from 15 cm
2
0.375 J 250 g dropped from 15 cm
3
0.5 J 250 g dropped from 20 cm
5
2 J 500 g dropped from 40 cm
7
6 J 1.5 kg dropped from 40 cm
9
20 J 5.0 kg dropped from 40 cm

IK
number
Impact energy
(
joules )
Equivalent impact
00 Unprotected No test
01 0.15 Drop of 200 g object from 7.5 cm height
02 0.2 Drop of 200 g object from 10 cm height
03 0.35 Drop of 200 g object from 17.5 cm height
04 0.5 Drop of 200 g object from 25 cm height
05 0.7 Drop of 200 g object from 35 cm height
06 1 Drop of 500 g object from 20 cm height
07 2 Drop of 500 g object from 40 cm height
08 5 Drop of 1.7 kg object from 29.5 cm height
09 10 Drop of 5 kg object from 20 cm height
10 20 Drop of 5 kg object from 40 cm height

IP69K

German standard DIN 40050-9 extends the IEC 60529 rating system described above with an IP69K rating for high-pressure, high-temperature wash-down applications.[4] Such enclosures must not only be dust tight (IP6X), but also able to withstand high-pressure and steam cleaning.

The test specifies a spray nozzle that is fed with 80°C water at 8–10MPa (80–100bar) and a flow rate of 14–16L/min. The nozzle is held 10–5 cm from the tested device at angles of 0°, 30°, 60° and 90° for 30s each. The test device sits on a turntable that rotates once every 12s (5rpm).

The IP69K test specification was initially developed for road vehicles, especially those that need regular intensive cleaning (dump trucks, cement mixers, etc.), but also finds use in other areas (e.g., food industry, car wash centers).

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