Ingress Protection

Electrical enclosures such as panels,switch boxes and appliances need to be protected against the entry of foreign objects and water for healthy operation and safety of the operating personnel. The European Commitee for Electro-technical Standardization has developed IP(Ingress Protection) ratings which specify the degree of protection the panels provide.

The IP codes are defined in the IEC standard 60529. The ingress protection of each panel is in the form of a code such as IP65. The first number indicates the protection against dust and other particles while the second numbers denotes the protection against water.

The first number indicates the following.

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

The Second letter indicates the degree of protection of the panel against the entry of water.

Level Protected against Details
0 not protected
1 dripping water Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect.
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.
3 spraying water Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect.
4 splashing water Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.
5 water jets Water projected by a nozzle against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
6 powerful water jets Water projected in powerful jets against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
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).
8 immersion beyond 1 m The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer.
NOTE: 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 produces no harmful effects.

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