IP Rating Explained

IP Rating Explained

What is an IP Rating?

Ingress Protection, or IP Ratings are a defined international standard to define sealing effectiveness (EN 60529). IP Ratings are used to define the protection of enclosures against intrusion from solid particle and moisture intrusion.

What do the numbers in an IP Rating mean?

The numbers that follow IP each have a specific meaning. The first digit indicates the degree of protection of the enclosure from intrusion by solid particles and foreign bodies. The second digit defines the protection of the enclosure from water. The two tables below give details of the full IP Rating system:

IP Ratings - What They Mean

First Digit - Solid Particle Protection

Level Effective Against Description
0 - No protection against contact and ingress of objects 
1 >50mm Any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part
2 >12.5mm Fingers or similar objects
3 >2.5mm Tools, thick wires, etc.
4 >1mm 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.

Second Digit - Liquid Ingress Protection

Level Effective Against Description
0 None -
1 Dripping water Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect on the specimen when mounted in an upright position.
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.
3 Spraying water Water falling as spray at any angle up to 60˚ from the vertical shall have no harmful effect.
4 Splashing of water Water splashes against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.
5 Water jets Water projected by a nozzle (6.3mm) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
6 Powerful water jets Water prjected in powerful jets (12.5mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
6K Powerful water jets with increased pressure Water projected in powerful jets (6.3mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction, under elevated pressure, shall have no harmful effects.
7 Immersion, up to 1m depth Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water at 1m depth for at least 30 minutes.
8 Immersion, 1m or more depth The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water without any harmful effects on the contents.
9K Powerful high temperature water jets Protected against close-range high pressure, high-temperature spray downs

Panzer Cases' Product Range

While we cover a huge range of electrical enclosures, our most common IP ratings are probably IP 55, 65 and 67. For quick reference, these are defined below:
  • IP55 Rating - IP rated as "dust protected" and protected against water projected from a nozzle.
  • IP65 Rating - IP rated as "dust tight" and protected against water projected from a nozzle.
  • IP67 Rating - IP rated as "dust tight" and protected against immersion.