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    What is Ingress protection (IP)?

    IP code or ingress protection code is defined by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) under the international standard IEC 60529 which classifies and provides a guideline to the degree of protection provided by mechanical casings and electrical enclosures against intrusion, dust, accidental contact, and water. It is published in the European Union by the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) as EN 60529.

    The standard aims to provide users more detailed information than vague marketing terms such as waterproof. For example, a cellular phone rated at IP67 is "dust resistant" and can be "immersed in 1 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes". Similarly, an electrical socket rated IP22 is protected against insertion of fingers and will not become unsafe during a specified test in which it is exposed to vertically or nearly vertically dripping water. IP22 or IP2X are typical minimum requirements for the design of electrical accessories for indoor use.

    The digits indicate conformity with the conditions summarized in the tables below. The digit 0 is used where no protection is provided. The digit is replaced with the letter X when insufficient data has been gathered to assign a protection level. The device can become less capable, however it cannot become unsafe.

    Protection against solid objects
    0 – No protection/ No test required
    1 – Protected against objects greater than 50mm diameter
    2 – Protected against objects greater than 12.5mm diameter, such as a finger
    3 – Protected against objects greater than 2.5mm
    4 – Protected against objects greater than 1.0mm such as wire
    5 – Ingress of dust is not totally prevented but dust does not enter in harmful quantities to interfere with the correct operation or impair safety
    6 – No ingress of dust permitted

    Protection against water
    0 – No protection / No test required
    1 – Protected against falling drops of water
    2 – Protected against drops falling at 15° in 4 fixed positions
    3 – Low pressure spray – similar to shower head at up to 60° from vertical tested using an oscillating tube with an arc of 60° for ten minutes
    4 – Low pressure spray – similar to shower head – as per numeral 3 but 180° for 10 minutes
    5 – Medium pressure jet – 6.3mm diameter, similar to garden hose – from any angle for 3 minutes at a distance of 2.5-3 metres.
    6 – High pressure jet – 12.5mm diameter, similar to fire hose – from any angle for 3 minutes at a distance of 2.5-3 meters.
    7 – Immersion – for temporary immersion in water under set conditions – 1 metre for 30 minutes
    8 – Protected against the effects of continuous immersion in water, ingress of water in quantities causing harmful effects shall not be possible. Conditions should be more severe than for numeral 7.
    9 – Steam clean, high pressure, high temp jet wash to DIN40050 (German Std), extends BS EN 60529:1992

    IP Enclosures at Deltron

    At Deltron Enclosures, we can offer IP54 enclosures, which are suited to light duty environments that may require some level of protection from dust.

    For more demanding applications, we also manufacture IP66 and IP68 enclosures. These are suited to industries mentioned previously in this article, where the applications are located in tough environments and therefore ingress protection is a priority.

    In addition, our IP66 and IP68 enclosures are available in a heavy duty version for a durable enclosure. They are often used for deep water applications, or when the engineer requires resilient casing for the electronic components.