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IP Rating Meanings | IP69K, IP67, IP65, How Do I Choose?

Todd Huber
Posted by Todd Huber on May 5, 2022 12:48:02 PM
  1. IP ratings are specified so buyers can be confident in an electrical product's use for specific environments and applications. Unlike vague marketing speak like 'waterproof' and 'dust-resistant' - which don't clearly define the extent an item can resist moisture and dirt - an IP rating is designed to provide a far more specific explanation of the item's degree of protection. The list of IP ratings is long and can be confusing to remember, so follow our guide to understand what each IP rating means and what matters most for your application.

 

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IP Ratings Explained  |  The First Digit  |  The Second Digit  |  Applications  |  Common IP Ratings  |  IP Ratings Reference Chart  |  Summary & Resources  

 

 

What are IP Ratings?

water lightbulbThe International Electrotechnical Commission, or IEC, developed Ingress Protection Ratings, or IP ratings, to rate the resistance an object has against the intrusion of foreign bodies and moisture. IP ratings help users know how protected an electrical item is from dust, water, and other foreign bodies that cause deterioration or malfunctions in the device,

IP ratings are widely used throughout most industries and are especially important to companies working in harsh environments with a high level of dust and debris, or in washdown applications like food, beverage, packaging, and other industries.

 

How Do Products Get an IP Rating?

To obtain an IP rating, a company must undergo Ingress Protection Testing by an independent, certified party. The company first determines which IP rating it wishes to obtain for a particular product, and then the independent party performs a series of tests to give the proper IP rating. The party conducting the testing will charge for their services, and in many cases, the cost is ultimately passed to consumers with the product's final price point. Though consumers may pay more up-front, they usually benefit from long-term savings by avoiding frequent repairs and product replacement.

 

How to Interpret IP Ratings

IP ratings consist of the letters "IP" followed by a two-digit code (for example, IP67). Each digit of the code represents the item's protection range. The first number denotes foreign body ingress protection, the second number denotes moisture. In general, the higher the number, the greater the protection.

 

The First Digit: Protection Against Solids

IP Ratings X 2@2x

The first number of an IP rating defines the protection an item has against solid objects. This includes tools or fingers that could be hazardous if they came into contact with conductors or moving parts, as well as airborne dirt and dust that could damage circuitry.

Level Ingress Limit 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 >12.55 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 airflow.
 

 

The Second Digit: Protection Against Liquids & Moisture

Ip Ratings x 1@2xThe second number of an IP rating defines the equipment's protection against various forms of moisture (drips, sprays, submersion, etc).

 

Level Ingress Limit Effective Against
0 No protection against liquids/moisture
1 Dripping water Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect on the object 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 object is tilted at an angle of 15° from its normal position.
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.
4 Splashing of water Water splashing against the object from any direction shall have no harmful effect, utilizing either: a) an oscillating fixture or b) A spray nozzle with no shield.
5 Water jets Water projected by a nozzle (6.3 mm) against the object from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
6 Powerful water jets

Water projected in powerful jets (12.5 mm nozzle) against the object from any direction shall have no harmful effects.

6K Powerful water jets with increased pressure Water projected in powerful jets (6.3 mm nozzle) against the object from any direction, under elevated pressure, shall have no harmful effects.
7 Immersion, 1 m or more depth Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the object 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 that 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.
9K Powerful high-temperature water jets Protected against close-range high pressure, high-temperature spray downs.

 

 


Additional Letters


Additional letters are sometimes added to an IP rating to provide additional information related to the device's protection:

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

 

 

 

What Applications Need Higher IP Ratings?

Dusty Environments


Some packaging environments for products like snacks or coffee create particulate that wreaks havoc on machinery. Dust easily penetrates improperly sealed enclosures, so a solid IP rating of at least 5 - 6 should be considered for this type of environment. Waterproofing is not as important, so the liquid IP rating does not have to be as high.

 

Wet Environments

 

In many food packaging applications, protection from liquids like water and cleaning solutions are vital. Packaging machines for products like cheese, meat, or candy need to be cleaned regularly, and exposed components must be rated to withstand a company's strict washdown process. Therefore, a liquid IP rating of at least 5 - 8, or even 9K for harsh washdown procedures, should be considered for these applications. The solid IP rating, in many cases, does not need to be as high.

 

Dusty & Wet Environments

 

Some packaging environments are both dusty and require harsh washdown procedures. In these circumstances, a total IP rating of at least 55 - 68 should be considered - possibly 69K for harsher steam-cleaning procedures. This covers environments that need protection from dust and water jets, up to environments that need total dust-proofing and immersion in water.

 

Common IP Ratings

What is IP69K?


It's the creme-de-la-creme when it comes to IP ratings, as it's the highest an item can receive. The IP69K rating was added by the IEC for applications that need devices to be routinely exposed to high-pressure and/or high-temperature washdowns. Before, the highest rating was IP68, which was sometimes found to be insufficient for harsh wash-downs. For this reason, a special rating was created by ISO to test the most intensive forms of cleaning, and the IP Ratings Code has since adopted this degree of protection and labeled it IP69K.

IP69K offers the highest protection against dust and water ingress. To achieve this rating, an item has to go through rigorous testing, including:

- Close distance spray: 10-15 cm
- Very hot water: 80°C/176°F
- High pressure: 1160-1450 psi
- Turntable rotation: 5 rpm

Only if the device passes all items of this test can it be considered IP69K and be confidently used in harsh environments with high pressure and steam cleaning.

 

What is IP67?


The IP67 rating means the item is 100% protected against solid objects like dust and sand and has been tested to work for at least 30 minutes while under 15cm to 1m of water. This rating is commonly found in the connectivity market.

 

What is IP65?


An IP65-rated item is protected against multi-directional, low-pressure water jets. In order to pass required testing, an item must be able to withstand water projected by a 0.25-inch nozzle for a minimum of fifteen minutes, with the water source placed three yards from the item. The water pressure must also be 30 kPa with a water volume of 3.3 gallons per minute. 

 

What If There's an X in the IP Rating?

Sometimes, an IP rating's number is replaced by X. This indicates that the enclosure is not rated for that specification. In most cases, it would be safest to replace the X with a zero, assuming it has no ingress protection rating. Although this assumption may not be valid, it's better to be safe than sorry.

"IPX5," for example, means there is no defined protection from solid objects but protection against low-pressure water jets. At the same time, "IP5X" denotes partial protection from dust but no rated protection from moisture.

 

IP Ratings Chart for Quick Reference

Here's a chart of all IP Ratings and their definitions organized in an easy-reference guide.

IP Number First Digit - Solids Second Digit - Liquids
IP00
Not protected from solids.
Not protected from liquids.
IP01
Not protected from solids.
Protected from condensation.
IP02
Not protected from solids.
Protected from water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical.
IP03
Not protected from solids.
Protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.
IP04
Not protected from solids.
Protected from water spray from any direction.
IP05
Not protected from solids.
Protected from low-pressure water jets from any direction.
IP06
Not protected from solids.
Protected from high-pressure water jets from any direction.
IP07
Not protected from solids.
Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.
IP08
Not protected from solids.
Protected from long-term immersion up to a specified pressure.
IP10
Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters.
Not protected from liquids.
IP11
Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters.
Protected from condensation.
IP12
Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters.
Protected from water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical.
IP13
Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters.
Protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.
IP14
Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters.
Protected from water spray from any direction.
IP15
Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters.
Protected from low-pressure water jets from any direction.
IP17
Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters.
Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.
IP18
Protected from touch by hands greater than 50 millimeters.
Protected from long-term immersion up to a specified pressure.
IP20
Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater than 12 millimeters.
Not protected from liquids.
IP21
Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater than 12 millimeters.
Protected from condensation.
IP22
Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater than 12 millimeters.
Protected from water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical.
IP23
Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater than 12 millimeters.
Protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.
IP24
Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater than 12 millimeters.
Protected from water spray from any direction.
 
IP25
Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater than 12 millimeters.
Protected from low-pressure water jets from any direction.
IP26
Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater than 12 millimeters.
Protected from high-pressure water jets from any direction.
IP27
Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater than 12 millimeters.
Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.
IP28
Protected from touch by fingers and objects greater than 12 millimeters.
Protected from long-term immersion up to a specified pressure.
IP30
Protected from tools and wires greater than 2.5 millimeters.
Not protected from liquids.
IP31
Protected from tools and wires greater than 2.5 millimeters.
Protected from condensation.
IP32
Protected from tools and wires greater than 2.5 millimeters.
Protected from water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical.
IP33
Protected from tools and wires greater than 2.5 millimeters.
Protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.
IP34
Protected from tools and wires greater than 2.5 millimeters.
Protected from water spray from any direction.
IP35
Protected from tools and wires greater than 2.5 millimeters.
Protected from low-pressure water jets from any direction.
IP36
Protected from tools and wires greater than 2.5 millimeters.
Protected from high-pressure water jets from any direction.
 
IP37
Protected from tools and wires greater than 2.5 millimeters.
Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.
 
IP38
Protected from tools and wires greater than 2.5 millimeters.
Protected from long-term immersion up to a specified pressure.
 
IP40
Protected from tools and small wires greater than 1 millimeter.
Not protected from liquids.
IP41
Protected from tools and small wires greater than 1 millimeter.
Protected from condensation.
IP42
Protected from tools and small wires greater than 1 millimeter.
Protected from water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical.
IP43
Protected from tools and small wires greater than 1 millimeter.
Protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.
IP44
Protected from tools and small wires greater than 1 millimeter.
Protected from water spray from any direction.
IP45
Protected from tools and small wires greater than 1 millimeter.
Protected from low-pressure water jets from any direction.
IP46
Protected from tools and small wires greater than 1 millimeter.
Protected from high-pressure water jets from any direction.
IP47
Protected from tools and small wires greater than 1 millimeter.
Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.
IP48
Protected from tools and small wires greater than 1 millimeter.
Protected from long-term immersion up to a specified pressure.
IP50
Protected from limited dust ingress.
Not protected from liquids.
IP51
Protected from limited dust ingress.
Protected from condensation.
IP52
Protected from limited dust ingress.
Protected from water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical.
IP53
Protected from limited dust ingress.
Protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.
IP54
Protected from limited dust ingress.
Protected from water spray from any direction.
IP55
Protected from limited dust ingress.
Protected from low-pressure water jets from any direction.
IP56
Protected from limited dust ingress.
Protected from high-pressure water jets from any direction.
IP57
Protected from limited dust ingress.
Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.
IP58
Protected from limited dust ingress.
Protected from long-term immersion up to a specified pressure.
IP60
Protected from total dust ingress.
Not protected from liquids.
IP61
Protected from total dust ingress.
Protected from condensation.
IP62
Protected from total dust ingress.
Protected from water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical.
IP63
Protected from total dust ingress.
Protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.
IP64
Protected from total dust ingress.
Protected from water spray from any direction.
IP65
Protected from total dust ingress.
Protected from low-pressure water jets from any direction.
IP66
Protected from total dust ingress.
Protected from high-pressure water jets from any direction.
IP67
Protected from total dust ingress.
Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.
IP68
Protected from total dust ingress.
Protected from long-term immersion up to a specified pressure.
IP69K
Protected from total dust ingress.
Protected from steam-jet cleaning.

    

 

Summary

So I hope this article de-mystified IP ratings, their meaning, configuration, and when they truly matter to your application. If you need any assistance with selecting IP-rated products for your application, don't hesitate to contact us and we can help provide the best solution.

 

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Related Articles & Resources

IEC Website

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