IP stands for Ingress Protection, and IP ratings specify the degree of protection of enclosures against ingress of objects, dirt or water. The same protection against objects getting into an enclosure also implies a degree of protection against potential hazards within that enclosure; at the lower levels, the ratings indicate whether fingers or tools can enter.
What kind of an IP rating should you look for? That depends on the environment your enclosure will be used in. An enclosure with low IP rating might work fine in an office, but in a dusty factory the electronics could quickly fail. More rugged enclosures are usually more expensive, though, so it makes sense to get enclosures that fit the environment. If a device is not going to be submerged in water, 100% waterproofing is an unnecessary expense.
IP Ratings are written with the letters “IP” followed by two numbers, e.g. IP65, where the numbers define the degree of protection. The first number refers to the amount of protection against solids, and the second number refers to the amount of protection against water.
The first digit in the rating is the protection against contact and foreign bodies. The second digit in the rating is the water protection factor. Sometimes a third number is added, which refers to protection against impact.
SIMCO’s enclosures have an IP rating of IP65. This means that they have complete protection against dust and protection against low-pressure water jets.
For your reference, the full ratings are below:
Solid particle protection
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.
|Object size protected against
|No protection against contact and ingress of objects
|Any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part
|Fingers or similar objects
|Tools, thick wires, etc.
|Most wires, screws, etc.
|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
|No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact
Liquid ingress protection
Protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against harmful ingress of water.
|Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect.
|Test duration: 10 minutesWater equivalent to 1mm rainfall per minute
|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 minutesWater equivalent to 3mm rainfall per minute
|Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect.
|Test duration: 5 minutesWater volume: 0.7 litres per minutePressure: 80–100 kPa
|Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.
|Test duration: 5 minutesWater volume: 10 litres per minutePressure: 80–100 kPa
|Water projected by a nozzle (6.3mm) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
|Test duration: at least 3 minutesWater volume: 12.5 litres per minutePressure: 30 kPa at distance of 3m
|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 minutesWater volume: 100 litres per minutePressure: 100 kPa at distance of 3m
|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 minutesImmersion at depth of 1m
|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 waterDepth specified by manufacturer