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Facts You Need to Know About IP Testing

Do you know what the IP code is for your product? If so, do you know what the code stands for?

An IP code is a rating assigned to a product or enclosure that indicates its level of ingress protection, or IP. That’s the amount of protection that the enclosure provides against the entry of foreign objects, such as fingers, debris, dust, tools and so on. IP testing also determines how safe your product is against moisture, including water, humidity, rain, snow and so on.

IP codes all follow a standard format that looks like this: IPXX. The “Xs” represent the numbers that correlate with an established coding scheme.

Understanding IP Codes

The first number — or the first X, in this case — is the degree of protection against the entry of foreign solid objects. It has a range of 0 to 6, with 0 being the lowest and 6 being the highest amount of protection.

The second number is the degree of protection against the entry of moisture. It has a range of 0 to 8. Again, 0 is the lowest amount of protection and 8 is the highest.

It’s important to note that either of the Xs can be substituted for the number “0”.

The First Number of the IP Code

As we have seen, the first number indicates the protection from solid objects. Here’s what each number means:

IP0 or IPX — Not evaluated

IP1 — Less than or equal to 50.0 mm diameter object

IP2 — Less than or equal to 12.5 mm diameter object

IP3 — Less than or equal to 2.5 mm diameter object

IP4 — Less than or equal to 1.0 mm diameter object

IP5 — Dust protected

IP6 — Dust tight

The Second Number of the IP Code

Recall that the second number indicates the protection from moisture. So here’s what each number means:

IP0 or IPX — Not evaluated

IP1 — Dripping water: Vertical

IP2 — Dripping water: 15 degree tilt

IP3 — Spraying water

IP4 — Splashing water

IP5 — Jetting water

IP6 — Powerful jetting water

IP7 — Temporary immersion

IP8 — Continuous immersion

The IP Code System in Practice

It may be helpful to look at a couple of examples to understand how the IP coding system works in real life. Here are a few of the many possible IP code combinations. Keep in mind that “X” and “0” mean the same thing:

IP13 — This product is protected from solid foreign objects less than or equal to 50 mm in diameter and from moisture up to spraying water.

IP52 — This product is protected from dust and from moisture up to dripping water.

IP65– This product is dust-tight and protected from moisture up to jetting water.

IPX1 —  This product has not been evaluated for solid foreign objects but is protected from moisture up to vertically dripping water.

IP4X — This product is protected from solid foreign objects up to 1.0 mm diameter but has not been evaluated for protection from moisture.

Another thing to remember is that a product with an “X” or a “O” — in other words, a product that has not been evaluated — could mean many things. It could mean a product that is compliant but hasn’t been tested. Or it could mean a product would not comply with testing. Often, it is simply an unknown for those products that were never intended to comply with that particular type of testing.

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